Roger Federer was a man on mission in the early part of the 2002 season, reaching the first Masters 1000 final in Miami and winning the first title at that level in Hamburg in May to find himself in the top 10. After that remarkable result, the young Swiss lost steam, leaving Roland Garros and Wimbledon winless under his belt and fighting ahead of the US Open, including some personal ones. Roger found some form in New York to advance to the fourth round, beating Xavier Malisse 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in two and 13 minutes for the third consecutive victory in the last Major of the season. Federer found the rhythm to take the win in four sets after a slow start, feeling better on the court than in previous months and expecting more of the same in the rest of the event. Speaking about his abilities on different surfaces, Roger admitted that he felt more comfortable on indoor courts, where conditions are always the same. He also mentioned how difficult it is to dominate the turf, looking forward to more good starts on the faster surface in the coming years. Despite the Hamburg title and some other valuable results, Federer named clay as his most vulnerable surface and where he has to improve his game the most to stay competitive.
Rinderknech reflects on Federer
From 178th place in the world to 58th ATP rank in one season, Arthur Rinderknech was invited by Antoine Benneteau for Eurosport. In this exciting podcast, the Frenchman shared an anecdote about Roger Federer: “Roger is very polite. I had the chance to warm up this year in Halle. I slept badly the night before like I had a big game. I’m coming in, and I was so tense during the warm-up. It lasted 30 minutes but I came out with a sore arm because my arm was so outstretched. I didn’t want to hit too hard, nor too slowly. He was at the net I didn’t want to hit too hard, I didn’t want to hurt him. He is very relaxed, he strikes all the blows. I came out of that warm-up, I was done for the day.” Roger Federer won the ATP Fan’s Favorite award this year, making it the 19th straight time the Swiss has picked up the honor. The first recipient of the award was Gustavo Kuerten in 2000. Marat Safin was voted the Fan Favorite for the next two years, but since 2003, Federer has won the award every single year.