After reaching two Major finals in 2001, Roger Federer was set to hunt for a top-10 spot and a place at the ATP Finals in 2002. The Swiss started the aforementioned season with the Sydney crown and the fourth round of the Australian Open, staying on the edge of the elite group and hoping to find himself there soon.
Roger failed to defend the title in Milan before scoring wins over Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin in the Russian Davis Cup on clay. The Swiss did not perform well in the next three events, suffering early defeats in Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells and leaving with just four wins.
In his return to Miami after the quarterfinals a year ago, Federer disposed of Jeff Morrison in the first match to open with victory. He bested world number 25 Albert Portas and world number 6 Tim Henman to repeat the 2001 result and meet in the round of 16.
Henman had to retire after the first set, and Roger had more than enough time to prepare for the quarterfinal clash against Andrei Pavel. The Swiss defeated the Romanian 6-1, 6-1 in less than an hour after one of his best performances of the season to that point.
Roger was pleased with his performance. He remained focused from start to finish and dominated the serve and return to set up the clash against Lleyton Hewitt or Marat Safin, other young super talents born in the early 80s.
Roger was confident in the next match, feeling great on court and confident in his chances against Hewitt or Safin as he looked for his first Masters 1000 final. Federer had a negative balance with Hewitt as he had only won it once and expected improve that in Miami.
On the other hand, he knew how to play against Marat, defeating him in both games against Florida. «I’ve had a lot of great matches against Lleyton Hewitt. I’ve met him about five times, lost four and beaten him once.
We have always had tough battles that lasted three or four sets. I feel like I can beat it; I have the game and I know the tactics and strategy to play against him.»
Tsitsipas on King Roger
Roger Federer is a highly respected figure in the world of tennis and many players look up to him with admiration, Stefanos Tsitsipas being one of them.
«Roger’s prime, you know, he was kind of unstoppable. He just seemed to go on,» Tsitsipas said. «He said, I remember, many years ago that ‘if you don’t improve and if you don’t change something in a positive way, opponents will find out what you’re doing and what you’ve been doing. it is no longer as efficient as it once was.
So you should always think ahead, you should always be forward-thinking in your mindset.’ And that’s what he’s been doing so well for so many years,» she said.