Roger Federer, who gained a huge confidence boost in Halle, was one of the players to beat at Wimbledon 2003, reaching the quarter-finals in 2001 and hoping to put that short campaign of a year ago behind him. When Ivo Karlovic stunned defending champion Lleyton Hewitt early in the tournament, Roger remained the top favorite in that part of the draw, playing well and earning a spot in the second week for the second time in three years at the All England Club.
Federer stormed Hyung-Taik Lee in the first round, defeated Stefan Koubek in the second match and defeated Mardy Fish in two hours and four sets to enter the knockout stages. His next opponent was Feliciano López, and Federer won that 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 for the third quarter-final in Majors despite the big scare on the practice court.
During a regular training session, Roger felt a sharp pain in his back. He called the physical therapist after only two games, hoping to get better, as he had never experienced anything similar before. Barely moving and struggling to find a rhythm, Federer fell behind in the first set and things could have ended for him if Lopez had converted any of the three set points in the 10th game.
The Spaniard wasted his chances and allowed the Swiss to bounce back and somehow win the set in the tie break. With his body getting warmer and warmer, Roger Federer was able to stay high for the next two sets and seal the deal, hoping for more of the same against Sjeng Schalken and chasing his first Major semi-final.
"The injury happened in the warm-up and I can't explain what happened. I couldn't move anymore and I had to call the coach and wait for a wonder. It was very hard for me, and I don't know how I won today, since this had never happened to me.
before. It bothered me while serving, and my back was completely locked. I always had a lot of pain. It was a little better as the game progressed because the body heats up and you get into it, trying to forget about problems."
Federer has cast grey clouds over his Wimbledon Championships 2021 campaign
Recently, the Hall of Famer and renowned journalist Steve Flink reflected on the Swiss maestro’s upcoming campaign. In essence, he revealed two scenarios with Roger Federer that would surprise him the most.
Precisely, Gill asked him what result would surprise him coming from the Swiss maestro in London. He replied, “The two that would surprise me would be a second or third round loss or a miraculous run to the title”.
Furthermore, Flink stated that he’d be even more surprised with the latter result. For the same, he pointed out many questions that have no definite answer as yet. “‘Can he get to the 16s, quarters, could he squeeze into the semis, does he really have it to get to the final,” Flink remarked.
Also, he added that he’s having a hard time seeing the seven matches given how little tennis he’s played this year.