Kicking off the 2002 season with the Sydney title, Roger Federer finally took another step and reached the top-10 in May after the first Masters 1000 crown in Hamburg. Following his most significant result in a career outside Majors, Roger lost ground in the next couple of months, failing to score a win at Roland Garros and Wimbledon and losing his place among the elite after a series of early exits. The Swiss reached the US Open fourth round, and that gave him some confidence, winning the fourth ATP title in Vienna in October, returning into the top-10 and becoming the ATP Race to Shanghai contender. Playing in Madrid as world no. 7, Roger defeated Marcelo Rios 6-4, 6-2 in the first round to make a winning start, seeking another deep run like in Vienna and more points on his tally in the quest towards the first Masters Cup berth. The Swiss sealed the deal in 65 minutes, getting broken twice and dominating on the return to grab five breaks and control the scoreboard.
Roger Federer regained the form in the closing stages of the 2002 season.
“I feel great about Shanghai; it’s great to be back in the race. I was 10th, and now I’m 7th after winning Vienna. I’m also on the highest-ranking position of my career, overcoming the 8th spot I held following the Hamburg title. I’m enjoying tennis at the moment because I have had some difficulties lately with the lack of confidence and problems on and off the court, with my friend dying. I went through some difficult times, and I’m happy it’s going uphill again. The US Open clash against Xavier Malisse helped a lot, coming from a set down. I didn’t play that well in the next round against Mirnyi, but he didn’t let me into the match. The Davis Cup in Morocco was also great for my confidence; I played extremely well, although you don’t get many Race points there. Still, I didn’t know how good I was going to play indoors. I felt my game is going uphill already in Moscow. I lost to Safin, who competed on a high level. I had a great run in Vienna last week, and I feel much better than a couple of months ago,” Roger Federer said.