Roger Federer: 'It was much more than that'

‘It was much more than that’

Roger Federer got off to a perfect start in 2003 before turning into a memorable season, winning nearly 80 matches and lifting seven trophies, including Wimbledon and the Masters Cup. The Swiss lost a lot of energy in the closing stages of 2002 and got off to a slow start in the following season, struggling with a leg injury in Doha and Sydney and heading to the Australian Open with just a couple of matches under his belt.

Roger was among the title favorites in Melbourne, kicking off the action with a hard-fought 7-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over Brazilian Flavio Saretta in two hours and 48 minutes. Federer converted six of 17 break chances and got broken three times to find himself at the top without spending more time on the court.

Saretta kept in contact with the Swiss in the first two sets before Roger broke away in the third, feeling better on the court but still feeling there is room for improvement if he wanted to challenge for the trophy. In addition, the journalists asked Federer to share his thoughts on the blood tests, and he said that there was nothing wrong with them, as he had nothing to hide or worry about.

“The leg was good today; I’m happy about that. I had to run a lot, and it was a tough match. I’m glad it went well; I like how I played. The last time I played on Center Court was against Tommy Haas in 2002. It’s a nice atmosphere and the Australian people are friendly.

It’s important to find the right form in the first few matches and I think I can play better in the next one. I played three or four games before Melbourne; I couldn’t compete at the highest level because of my injury, but it seems to have gone well now.

I’m happy that I went through in straight sets because I could easily have gone to fourth or even fifth.”

King Roger will remain tied to tennis

Roger Federer himself was quite overwhelmed to see the kind of response he received after announcing his decision a few weeks ago.

“It’s been overwhelming to be quite honest, how many nice things have been written about me, a lot of them about my personality and about me as a person,” Roger Federer said. “Less almost as me as the tennis player, about my forehand or whatever you want to call it.

That’s been a wonderful surprise to me that a lot of people looked or supported me because of maybe my character. That was a bit of an unexpected twist to the story. I thought they were gonna talk about his achievements, his accomplishments, what he meant to the game, and that’s it. But it was much more than that. It totally over-exceeded my expectations,” the 41-year-old added.

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