'Roger Federer Played As If He Came From...', Says Former Atp Star

‘Roger Federer played like he came from…’, says former ATP star

Rafael Nadal became a teenager to watch in 2003, having a strong start to the season and breaking into the top 50 after an incredible combination of Challenger and ATP Tour results. A year later, Nadal was eager to challenge his rivals from the top.

He lost to Lleyton Hewitt at the Australian Open before facing newly crowned No. 1 Roger Federer in Miami. The 17-year-old stunned the king of tennis 6-3 6-3 in the third round in 70 minutes to steal all the headlines. Roger claimed the Indian Wells crown the week before.

He didn’t have enough time to recover for Miami, felt signs of illness and fever, and never looked good on the court. Even so, there is nothing to detract from Nadal’s triumph, who played without any sign of nerves and did almost everything well on court.

Rafa did a lot of damage with his topspin forehands that bounced high and took time away from Federer’s shots, preventing the Swiss from getting back to his usual pace. The Spaniard’s defense was already one of the best, building a fortress around the back line that was almost impossible to penetrate.

But it was not only based on that, he attacked whenever he could and played well-constructed points at the net. Nadal had some problems with his backhand, but that couldn’t hurt him much as Federer played below his level.

Nadal’s serve gave him a considerable advantage as he never faced a break opportunity or a deu and created space to play more aggressively on the return. Rafa served 81% and won 31 of 39 points after conceding the first serve, impressive numbers for a player whose serve was not his main weapon.

Nadal’s second serve worked like a charm, although he only played nine points on a weaker serve.

Tommy Haas talks about Federer

As part of an interview with our colleagues from Eurosport Germany, Tommy Haas, who is close to Roger Federer, reminded us that Roger had human qualities well above average.

“Roger is an incredible guy, on and off the court, as a friend, as a father, as a man. With him, we always have fun. He has a wonderful outlook on life and it’s wonderful to spend time with people like him. It’s amazing what Roger has accomplished, over so long and with such consistency. He played like he came from another planet, it was the period from 2004 to 2006.»

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