Roger Federer claimed notable titles at Wimbledon and the ATP Masters Cup in 2003, finishing the season in second place behind US Open champion Andy Roddick. Working with Peter Lundgren since 2000, Roger decided to change the focus and start the next season without a coach. Without the help of his box, Federer was one of the players to beat at the Australian Open, seeking both the title and no. 1 place for the first time. Roger passed the first three hurdles smoothly, beating opponents ranked outside the top-100 to set up the fourth-round clash with Lleyton Hewitt. With just two wins in the previous nine encounters against the Australian, Federer made no mistakes this time to reach his first Australian Open quarter-final, facing another fierce rival. David Nalbandian defeated the Swiss in five sets in Melbourne a year ago, also at the US Open in September, with Federer serving as a rematch after a 7-5, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 win in two hours. and 41 minutes. The Argentine did his best to stay in the race, suffering five breaks and losing concentration in the crucial moments to push the rival. Federer held his nerve in the final stages of the first set and overcame a 4-3 deficit in the second to carve out a huge lead. David won the third set before Roger rallied in the fourth to move into the last four and a victory away from the ATP throne. With a rock solid performance, Federer defeated Juna Carlos Ferrero 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and a half to advance to the final and become number 23 in the world. 1 since 1973. It was his seventh meeting and the fourth win for the Swiss, who saved all four break opportunities to increase pressure on the other side of the net. Struggling with injury, Ferrero couldn’t match those numbers, serving four times to propel Roger over the top.
Mouratoglou speaks about Roger Federer
During the course of his interview, Patrick Mouratoglou also discussed the Grand Slam race between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. While Federer and Nadal are tied at 20 Majors (the all-time record in men’s tennis) right now, Djokovic is just behind at 18. “Novak, I think it’s obvious and regarding Roger, for sure, he’s had a long injury that actually lasted much longer than what he expected himself,” Mouratoglou said. The Frenchman further believes that given Federer’s age and fitness levels, his focus going forward will be on the Grand Slams. “He knows that he’s going to be 40 this year,” Mouratoglou added. “He can do anything else but focus on the Grand Slams, making his preparation completely Grand Slam focussed to give himself the best chance. It’s more like Wimbledon focussed and then the other Slams and lastly Roland Garros.”