Roger Federer, a past quarterfinalist at Wimbledon in 2002, was prepared to shine at the temple of tennis after suffering a difficult first-round loss to Mario Ancic. The Swiss had a solid start to the 2003 season with two victories in straight sets.
Federer defeated Hyung-Taik Lee in straight sets in the first set, taking only 24 minutes. He had some trouble in the third set, but managed to advance to Center Court to face his friend Stefan Koubek in the second round. In the first set against the teenager, the Austrian fought valiantly and built a 5-2 lead until Federer took advantage of a rain delay to take the game back from him.
The Swiss was the sole player on the field when they arrived, and he added 17 of the previous 19 games to defeat the opposition 7-5, 6-1, and 6-1 in 77 minutes. When he got on his game, Roger pushed himself well above Stefan and served superbly, winning 22 points in just 13 service games to quickly win sets two and three.
Before Federer came back, saving a set point and winning the next five games in a row, Koubek got out to a strong start, grabbing a 5-2 lead with just one break. After a strong showing in sets two and three, Roger accelerated and sped towards the finish line.
Federer said that he doesn’t help when you constantly consider difficult movements on the grass and that you should put it behind you and focus on your game after falling twice on the slick surface.
King Roger left a legacy.
Roger Federer was praised for being a “class act” by former American tennis player Jan-Michael Gambill for not drawing attention away from Serena Williams‘ retirement.
“It seemed a bit hurried. Because Roger is such a gentleman, it almost appeared as though he gave Serena some room for his retirement. He kept his distance from her and gave her some breathing room. Serena is gone now, Roger is gone, “the American said.
The 45-year-old added that, in contrast to Federer and Williams, he appreciated the manner in which Ashleigh Barty and Pete Sampras resigned from tennis after winning Grand Slams. “Roger’s time had come. When it comes to retirements, I still believe Pete and Ash Barty did it best; after winning a slam, they said, “Hey, I’m outta here.”
However, many people found this to be emotional, and for all of Roger’s fans—and there are a lot—it was great “Added he.