Starting the season ranked 30th, Roger Federer made significant progress in the first half of 2001, winning the first ATP title and playing in the quarter-final in Miami, Monte Carlo, Roland Garros and Wimbledon! At the All England Club, the young Swiss dethroned the seven-time champion Pete Sampras before losing to Tim Henman in a tight clash, failing to remain on the title course. Roger struggled with a groin injury in the upcoming weeks and reached only one final by the end of the year at home in Basel. Thus, Roger couldn’t fight for the place at the Masters Cup in Sydney, unable to close the season in the way he wanted and missing the elite ATP event with the season’s best eight players.
Federer was eager to change that in 2002, setting eyes on the top-10 group and the first Masters Cup berth. Roger couldn’t make progress through the ATP ranking list in the opening months of the season, heading to Miami as world no. 14 and advancing into the first Masters 1000 final.
Roger Federer wanted to crack the top-10 in 2002 and play at the Masters Cup.
In the quarters, Roger stormed over Andrei Pavel 6-1, 6-1 in 55 minutes after a dominant performance on both serve and return. Pleased with how he played, Federer said he wants more of the same in the rest of the season, targeting the elite ranking group and his first Masters Cup appearance.
“I would love to reach the top-10 as soon as possible; that’s a special goal for every player. I have been around the top-15 for quite some time now and would love to take the next step. The result here will help me in that quest, and it should be a good match tomorrow as well against Lleyton Hewitt or Marat Safin. I would love to reach Shanghai at the end of the season. Last year, I was a bit unfortunate with the injury I experienced at Wimbledon. Who knows, I might not have made it anyway, but I was disappointed with how I played at the end of the season. I was in the final in Basel, but that was the only good result in the closing stages; this year, I can achieve all the goals if I stay healthy,” Roger Federer said.