Ranked 6th at the start of the 2003 season, Roger Federer found the rhythm in February to conquer Marseille and Dubai. The Swiss did not play at his best level in Indian Wells and Miami, but he found his game again on clay to conquer Munich and reach the final in Rome.
Things didn’t go so well at Hamburg and Roland Garros, and Roger focused on the grass-court season, lifting the first ATP title on the fastest surface in Halle. Coming into Wimbledon as one of the favourites, Federer dropped one set in seven meetings, producing top-quality tennis against Andy Roddick and Mark Philippoussis to lift the first Grand Slam crown.
The youngster had a chance to become world number 1 in Montreal and Cincinnati, losing the semifinal in Canada to Andy Roddick and waiting until next February to seize the ATP throne. At the US Open, Federer lost the first set against José Acasuso before recovering, dominating the Argentine, who retired early in the fourth set.
In the second round, Roger defeated Jean-Rene Lisnard 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 in one hour and 17 minutes, in one of his most dominant triumphs in New York. The Wimbledon champion gave up 15 points in 11 service games, declining the only break point he faced and stealing 55% of return points.
Federer grabbed seven breaks from 14 chances and clinched a third-round berth. Thus, Federer set the fourth round clash against James Blake, expecting a much closer match in front of the American public. In addition, Roger referred to his girlfriend Mirka, who got into tennis after being inspired by Martina Navratilova.
“You always have to stay focused in the early stages of each set, which has worked well for me today.”
Tony Godsick on Federer’s long-term success
Godsick spoke about 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer’s winning mentality and killer-instinct on the court.
“I always say he’s a choirboy killer,” Tony Godsick told CNBC. “This guy, when you go on the court with him, he wants to win and he wants to win badly. He doesn’t want you to win any games, he doesn’t want you to win any points,” the American added.
“One of the things he misses the most is being back out on tour with the guys and joking around in the locker room, and the practice, and the whole process leading upto the competition,” Godsick stated. “I never felt that he doesn’t enjoy it,” Godsick expressed.
“I think that’s why he has been so successful for so long because he absolutely enjoys the sport, everything the sport has to give.”