Roger Federer was a man on the mission in the first part of the 2002 season, reaching the first Masters 1000 final in Miami and winning the first title at that level in May in Hamburg to find himself in the top-10. After that, the young Swiss lost the form, leaving Roland Garros and Wimbledon with no victories and struggling ahead of the US Open, both on and off the court. In New York, Roger found at least some form to reach the fourth round, beating Xavier Malisse 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in two and 13 minutes for the third straight victory at the season’s last Major.
Following a slow start, Federer found the rhythm to bring the triumph home in four sets, feeling better on the court and hoping for more of the same in the rest of the event. Speaking about his abilities on different surfaces, Roger admitted he feels the most comfortable on indoor courts, where the conditions are always the same. He also mentioned how tough it is to master grass, hoping for more good runs on it in the years to come. Despite that Hamburg title and some other results, Federer named clay as his most vulnerable surface and the one where he has to improve his game the most to stay competitive.
At the US Open 2002, Roger Federer spoke about his results on every surface.
“I would say my favorite surface must be indoors; my first successes came on it. I always loved to play indoors because the conditions are the same all the time. On the other hand, the grass is unpredictable, as we don’t play much on it. I think I still need a few more years on the grass until I can say how good I am. I know the surface is good for my game because I have an all-around game. I think I have some good results on the outdoor hard court. I’m not struggling with the wind and the sun anymore. That’s got for sure something to do with my footwork; I have improved that over the years. Clay is my weakest surface. All our Davis Cup rivals will choose it, even though I maybe have the best results on it so far. On clay, I can make the most improvements, especially as I don’t play enough on it in comparison to the outdoor hard and indoor surface,” Roger Federer said.