Entering his second Masters Cup campaign in Houston 2003, Roger Federer defeated Andre Agassi 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 in two hours and 25 minutes. The Swiss had to dig deep against the American veteran, dropping the opening set and fending off two match points in the decider's closing stages to notch the triumph.
After winning the Vienna title, Federer couldn't keep that level in Madrid, Basel and Paris, struggling with a back injury and having only a slim chance of finishing as the year-end no. 1. After the triumph over Agassi, Federer stated that his last match on a very high level came against Carlos Moya in the Vienna final, hoping to repeat that in the remaining encounters in Houston.
Following the first Major crown at Wimbledon, Roger lost in the Gstaad final to Jiri Novak in five sets ahead of the North American hard-court swing. There, Federer missed a chance to become world no. 1, losing in the fourth round of the US Open and hoping for a title defense in Vienna after suitable rest.
Delivering his best tennis, Roger claimed the tenth ATP title in the Austrian capital and the sixth of the season, defeating Carlos Moya 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 33 minutes. The Swiss was the player to beat on that day, building fortress around his serve and pushing Moya to the limits on the return to create seven break chances and convert four.
Roger Federer spoke about his form after beating Andre Agassi at the Masters Cup 2003.
Carlos served at 45%, a recipe for disaster as he couldn't move Federer from the comfort zone or get more free points. Roger had many more winners and forced many errors with his sharp forehand, having a clear edge in the shortest and mid-range rallies to secure the victory in straight sets.
Federer reached the Madrid Open semi-final but wasn't happy with his game, struggling with a back injury and not playing well in Basel and Paris, hoping for a better run in Houston. "I played great in Vienna, and I never found that rhythm again, despite reaching the semis in Madrid.
I couldn't play at my best in Basel and Paris due to back spasm and the last time I was playing on a high level was against Carlos Moya in Vienna," Roger Federer said.