Roger Federer got off to a perfect start in 2003 before turning into a memorable season, winning nearly 80 matches and lifting seven trophies, including Wimbledon and the Masters Cup. The Swiss lost a lot of energy in the closing stages of 2002 and got off to a slow start in the following season, struggling with a leg injury in Doha and Sydney and heading to the Australian Open with just a couple of matches under his belt.
Roger was among the title favorites in Melbourne, beginning the action with a hard-fought 7-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over Brazilian Flavio Saretta in two hours and 48 minutes. Federer converted six of 17 break chances and got broken three times to find himself at the top without spending more time on the court.
Saretta kept in touch with the Swiss in the first two sets before Roger broke away in the third, feeling better on the court but still feeling there was room to improve if he wanted to challenge for the trophy. Furthermore, the journalists asked Federer to share his thoughts on the blood tests and said that there was nothing wrong with them as he had nothing to hide or to worry about.
“The leg was good today, I’m happy about that. I had to run a lot and it was a difficult match. he was against Tommy Haas in 2002. There is a good atmosphere and the Australian people are friendly.
It’s important to find the right form in the first few games and I think I can play better in the next one. I played three or four games against Melbourne; I couldn’t compete at the highest level due to my injury, but it seems to have been going well for me now.
I’m happy that we went through in straight sets because I could easily have made it to fourth or even fifth.»
King Roger will continue to be linked to tennis
Roger Federer himself was quite overwhelmed by the kind of response he received after announcing his decision a few weeks ago.
«To be honest, it has been overwhelming how many good things have been written about me, many of them about my personality and about me as a person,» said Roger Federer. «Minus almost like me as a tennis player, about my forehand or whatever you want to call it.
It has been a wonderful surprise for me that many people looked at me or supported me perhaps because of my character. That was an unexpected twist in the story. I thought they were going to talk about his achievements, his achievements, what he meant to the game, and that’s it. But it was much more than that. It totally exceeded my expectations,» the 41-year-old added.