Roger Federer

Young Roger Federer chooses his favorite opponent: Marat Safin.


At the start of the new millennium, the future of men’s tennis was in good hands. An incredible generation of young people born in the early 1980s achieved the first significant results in the late 1990s thanks to Marat Safin and Lleyton Hewitt.

While the Russian and Australian are already considered the best players in the world, Roger Federer was eager to join them as soon as possible. The Swiss made notable leaps in the rankings and reached their first Grand quarterfinal in 2001.

Both Marat and Roger reached the top eight in Miami 2003. However, Marat was unable to stay at the event for long after losing to Davide Sanguinetti in the opening. Roger, on the other hand, started to win by beating Luis Horna 6-2, 7-5 in one hour and 21 minutes.

After the match, Roger was asked to describe important rivalries and competitions. He talked about Pete Sampras and his match at Wimbledon and said he had already fulfilled one of his dreams.

Roger Federer talked about his favorite rivals in Miami 2003.

In 2001, the teenager defeated the champion seven times in five epic sets in the fourth round, repelling all attacks in the final round, achieving one of the best victories of his early career.

Alongside Pete, Roger also talked about Marat Safin, praising the Russians, saying he likes to stand up to him, and calling Marat a good guy off the field. Safin won his last match in Moscow at the end of 2002 and achieved his first victory against Roger.

Switzerland narrowly held him twice in Rome in 2001 and again in 2002. The two rivals faced off in the Hamburg Masters final, and Roger won to lift his first Masters 1000 trophy and enter the top 10 the next day.

“I already had a game with Pete Sampras at Wimbledon; I don’t need to play again. Otherwise I like to play against Marat Safin; I think he’s a good guy off the field. We always have great encounters.

Winning many matches is very important for your self-confidence, it allows you to play better. You feel you can go further; you are better at key points; it changes your whole mental approach to the game. It’s been a great start to the year for me. “I’ve always played well in the first few months for the last two or three years,” said Roger Federer.



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