Roger Federer and Marat Safin were among the best young players in the world in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with the Russian already at the top and the Swiss rushing to join him. Both qualified in the top 8 at Miami 2003 and Marat couldn’t stay in the event for long, losing to Davide Sanguinetti in the opening match while Roger got off to a winning start, beating Luis Horna 6-2, 7-5.
in one hour and 21 minutes. After the match, Roger was asked about some notable rivalries and competitions, mentioning that he had already played Pete Sampras at Wimbledon, which was one of his dreams. In the fourth round of 2001, a teenager took down the seven-time champion in five epic sets, enduring all the challenges in the closing stages to secure one of the best wins of his early career.
In addition to Pete, Roger also brought Marat Safin into the story, praising the Russian saying that he likes to compete against him, describing Marat as a good guy off the court. Safin won his last match in Moscow in late 2002 for his first win over Roger, who he held in a tight battle in Rome in 2001 and twice more in 2002, defeating the Russian in the final of the Masters 1000 event in Hamburg for his first trophy at that level.
“You know, I already had a match against Pete Sampras at Wimbledon, I don’t need to play that match again. On the other hand, I like to play Marat Safin; I think he’s a good guy off the court. We’ve always enjoyed matches.
Winning a lot of matches is very important for your confidence as it allows you to play better. You feel that you can go for more, you are better in the important points; it changes your entire mental approach to the match.
It has been a great start to the year again for me.”
King Roger will play next year
Roger Federer’s absence from the 2022 Wimbledon Championships broke a 23-year-long streak of him playing in the iconic grasscourt Major.
“It feels very strange to me not to play Wimbledon this year and to watch it on TV. I’ve been there every time since 1998,” said the 20-time Grand Slam champion. “But it is also a time of more rest. I’ve been on the road for so long that it was also nice to experience a little more calm and to be in one place more often, which already happened due to the coronavirus.
It gave me the opportunity to be selective in figuring out my travels. To give something back. Many friends always came to see me, now I could turn it around,” he said further.