Heading to Miami 2001 with only two Masters 1000 victories, Roger Federer added three triumphs to his tally in Florida and reached the first Masters 1000 quarter-final. The Swiss faced world no. 8 Patrick Rafter, who proved too strong for the youngster and beat him 6-3, 6-1 in swift 56 minutes to stay on the title course and terminate Federer’s journey. The Aussie used his booming initial shot to win 30 out of 34 points after landing the first serve in, fending off both break chances and mounting the pressure on Federer. The youngster could not provide similar numbers in his games, getting broken four times from eight opportunities offered to Rafter to trail all the time. The Swiss was unhappy with how he competed, standing powerless on the court and making too many errors in the rallies that he should have won against the rival who threw everything at him with an aggressive serve & volley game.
Roger Federer suffered a massive loss to Patrick Rafter in Miami 2001.
“I tried to hold my serve today, but my game plan did not work. I could not complete what I had in mind because my serve was not there, giving Patrick many chances on the return. I think Patrick played well today, but my performance was horrible. It’s a big disappointment, and I’m a bit sad about losing in straight sets like this; it’s not easy to admit. It was a big match for me to play Patrick here, and the conditions probably favored him; the surface and everything. I tried my best, but I never found my game. I had some chances initially, but he served well; after that, I did not have any opportunity on his serve.
He made me play badly, and I would say I made him play well. I have to work on my serve in the next few weeks because it has been a disappointment all week long. No second serve, and you can not beat Pat Rafter without it. I’m o.k with somebody attacking me all the time as he did. I can pass anybody when I feel good, but today was not that day. The serves were just too weak, and you could attack really on almost unpassable shots; it was very easy for him at the net. I did not have many passing shots today, not finding my game from the baseline once the rally would go on. In the end, I could not return the ball anymore; he was starting to serve better,” Roger Federer said.