In 2003, five of the top 8 year-end players were under the age of 24. The next stars conquered the last three Majors of the season, occupying the top 3 positions and pumping fresh blood to men's tennis. Roger Federer was among those youngsters to beat, winning his first Major title at Wimbledon and having a shot at the ATP throne in subsequent events.
Other youngsters, Andy Roddick and David Nalbandian ruined Roger's plan, and the Swiss finished the season second behind the American. Still, the "second prize" came in the Masters Cup, where Federer claimed his third notable title in a career after scoring five wins.
With tough challenges ahead, Roger toppled Andre Agassi and David Nalbandian for the first time on the Tour, gaining confidence and attacking Juan Carlos Ferrero to reach the semi-final with strength. Andy Roddick was able to catch Federer's pace only in the first set, as the Swiss managed a 7-6, 6-2 win in his first title match at this event.
For the second time that week in Houston, Federer played Agassi in the trophy battle, playing at a high level to deliver a 6-3, 6-0, 6-4 victory. Roger never faced a break opportunity, securing five to march over the finish line.
The Swiss lost 17 points in 12 service games, avoiding problems in his games and winning five breaks to leave the veteran far behind. Federer seized 46% of the return points, making enough in sets one and three to completely outnumber Andre in the second after producing a zero.
The youngest player had 51 winners and 12 unforced errors, doing a lot of damage with his serve and first groundstroke to create a 60-36 gap at the shorter range of up to four shots.
Roger Federer confirmed he has received the vaccine
Roger Federer recently talked at length about the situation revolving around the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the fate of which hangs in the balance due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in Japan.
"It's difficult," Roger Federer told Switzerland's Leman Bleu television. "We're not hearing much. That makes me think the Games will happen, even if I've heard that lots of people in Tokyo are against the Games."
Turning his attention to vaccines, Roger Federer confirmed he has received the antiviral jab - the one produced by Pfizer. He did, however, stress that he took the vaccine in the best interests of those around him rather than for his own benefit.
"Yes, I'm vaccinated," Federer said. "I got the Pfizer. I am happy to have been able to do it with all the trips I take. I did it above all for others. I don't want to give it (the virus) to anyone else. We have to be careful, we are very careful."