Roger Federer won seven ATP titles in 2003, including Wimbledon and the Masters Cup. Unlike the previous season, Federer failed to lift a trophy at the Masters 1000 level in 2003, finishing the season in second place behind Andy Roddick and setting up an assault on No.
1 in 2004. En route to Melbourne without a coach in January, Federer raced through the first three rounds to set up more challenging matchups against Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian. Holding a record score against both, Federer knocked them out in four sets to meet in a Major semi-final for the second time after Wimbledon last July.
Another young man, Juan Carlos Ferrero, stood between Roger and the ATP throne and, unlike Montreal 2003, the Swiss made no mistakes this time. Federer produced a reliable performance to beat the Spaniard 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and a half, advancing to the second Major final and becoming number one, the 23rd player to reach the World Cup since 1973.
It was his seventh meeting and the fourth win for Federer, who rejected all four break opportunities and kept the pressure on the other side of the net. Struggling with an injury in the second half of the match, Ferrero was unable to keep up with Roger, suffering four breaks to propel the opponent into the title match against Marat Safin.
Both had more winners than unforced errors, and it was Federer who had the advantage with 30 winners and 40 errors that forced the Spaniard. Juan Carlos was the best player in the long exchanges, but that was not enough to keep him safe.
Roger Federer recalls his teenage days
Roger Federer recently appeared in an interview for GQ Magazine, where he spoke at length on several topics - including retirement and his ambitions going forward. Federer also shed light on some of his childhood fantasies, and revealed that he once wished to have his hair colored red.
Roger Federer then turned his attention to a photograph from his teenage days, where he was seen sporting a blonde look. "I mean, it’s a classic teenage guy having a lot of pimples and wanting all sorts of different hair colors," Federer said.
"My next move was going to be the red hair, but then I somehow didn’t do it. And then after that, I let it grow out, I cut it off, and then I had long hair after that." The World No. 8 further explained why he had a poster of Pamela Anderson on his door.
"I had Shaquille O’Neal on a huge poster," Federer said. "I had Pamela Anderson because we were always watching Baywatch and 21 Jump Street."