Roger Federer claimed the first Major title at Wimbledon 2003, dropping just one set in seven meetings and adding his name to the list of memorable champions in the cathedral of tennis. The Swiss had the upper hand against all opponents, dropping a set against Mardy Fish in the third round and holding strong when it mattered most to become a deserved winner.
The biggest obstacle for Roger was not his opponents, but a serious back injury experienced before the fourth round clash against Feliciano Lopez. Feeling acute pain, Federer called the physio after just two games, struggling to match his rival’s pace and contemplating retirement.
With painkillers and massages, the Swiss began to move and serve better, erasing the difference and fending off a set point to take the first set in the tie break, dominating in sets two and three to find his place in the quarters.
By defeating Sjeng Schalken, Roger advanced to his first Major semi-final, and there was no one left to stop him, defeating Andy Roddick and Mark Philippoussis in straight sets to win his first Grand Slam crown in grand style.
In the title match, Roger never faced a break point against Mark, winning two tiebreaks and dominating in the second set to seal the deal in less than two hours and join other legends on the list of champions. “I was in significant pain during that Feliciano Lopez match, struggling to serve and return.
I couldn’t even sit down because I was in so much pain.”
King Roger is still motivated
Roger Federer has time and again expressed that he is aware he does not have many years left as a professional tennis player.
“Time will tell how I want to deal with this, how often I keep looking for interest. I think about that now sometimes, but not often. My main focus is on how to make my comeback in tennis. I work hard on that and I think about it every day,” said Federer, who is set to play at the Laver Cup and the ATP Basel Open in September/October.
While such loud applause is certainly nothing new for Federer, he said he was ‘quite emotional’ last Sunday and revealed what Novak Djokovic said to him during that moment. “What feeling you get and how you react after such applause and standing ovation, I still don’t know that in advance.
Novak (Djokovic) also said that: a lot of us are nervous before such a parade. We don’t do this every day either, we never get used to it. It remains uncertain, while all you have to do is walk a bit and say a few words. And I was quite emotional, although not everyone has seen that,” the Swiss great said on the same.