After a tough first-round loss to Mario Ancic at Wimbledon 2002, former quarter-finalist Roger Federer was ready to shine again in the cathedral of tennis. The Swiss scored two wins in straight sets for a strong start to the 2003 campaign.
Federer won the first set in a quick 24 minutes against Hyung-Taik Lee and struggled a bit in the third, still doing enough to set up the second-round clash against his friend Stefan Koubek on Center Court. The Austrian fought bravely in the opening set against the youngster, forging a 5-2 lead before Federer used a rain delay to win the game back from him.
Once they returned, the Swiss was the only player on the pitch, hitting 17 of the last 19 games to outclass the opponent 7-5, 6-1, 6-1 in 77 minutes. Roger served well, scoring 22 points in 13 service games and putting himself well above Stefan once he found the A game from him to take home the victory in short order in sets two and three.
Koubek got off to a great start, opening a 5-2 lead with a single break before Federer rallied back, fending off a set point and taking five games in a row to win the set. Roger gained enormous momentum and raced towards the finish line with a reliable performance in sets two and three.
Federer fell twice on the slippery surface and explained that he doesn’t help when you think about complicated moves on the grass all the time and you have to put it behind you and get on with your game.
King Roger is a legend
In an interview with Dnevnika Nove TV, Lendl claimed that politics should not play a role when you have to pick the best player.
The legendary Czech-American believes it would not be fair if Djokovic is robbed of the chance to compete in the New York Major. “I’m disappointed with Novak, I’m disappointed with Rafa,” Lendl said. “At the moment, Roger Federer seems to be out of it, because he hasn’t played for a long time and he is also the oldest.
If Novak wins the most Grand Slams despite that, I think we will have an answer. If Rafa wins one more title, I think he will have to answer the question about the vaccination and the fact that Novak could not play. And I don’t think that’s fair.
I’d actually like to see someone have a 2, 3, 4 title advantage at the top. I don’t care who it is, I don’t have a favorite. Just for the sake of answering that question, to be clear. And, not to say ‘If this man could play, maybe it would be different, your record is not that good.’ That is not fair,” he added.