Roger Federer recalls Wimbledon 2003: ‘When I held the trophy, I had to wonder..’

Wimbledon 2003 brought all the drama and excitement you can think of, with the defending champion losing in the first round and eight players left in the title chase that had never won a Major title. In the end, Roger Federer grabbed our sport’s most significant trophy, claiming his first Major crown at 21 following a 7-6, 6-2, 7-6 triumph over world no. 48 Mark Philippoussis in under two hours. The Aussie claimed only 19 points on the return, creating no break chances and dealing with a lot of pressure in both tie breaks, having to win them to stay in contention against such a strong rival. Also, Mark won 50 out of 87 points with his serve alone, struggling to match Roger Federer’s pace in the more extended rallies and hitting only 16 winners from the court. On the other hand, Federer counted to over 70 winners overall, reducing the number of unforced errors and sealing the deal with a service winner at 6-3 in the third set tie break for his first Major title. 

Roger Federer claimed the first Major crown at Wimbledon 2003.

“When it was all over, I couldn’t believe it at the first point. That went through my mind when I sat down on my chair, before the flashback and the golden trophy. When you look at it and hold it, it’s something you have always dreamed about, asking yourself is it for real. I have proved to everybody that I can chase notable titles. There was pressure from all sides, and it’s a relief to me. I always wanted to do better at Slams, but you need a little luck, like in the fourth-round clash when I struggled with a back injury. At that moment, I never thought about winning the title. Less than a week later, the crown is in my hands, and it’s still tough for me to believe. I was very nervous when I walked on the court, with strong emotions to control. I’m exhausted now, with all the tension out there. After winning the second set, I was hoping to finish the job in straight sets,” Roger Federer said.

Leave a Reply