Roger Federer made his professional debut at Wimbledon in 1999 and had two early losses on his first trips to London. All that changed in 2001 when the Swiss defeated Christophe Rochus in the first round and celebrated the first victory in the tennis cathedral.
In the second round, Roger defeated another Belgian, Xavier Malisse, having to fight in a 6-3, 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3 victory after two and a half hours of fast tennis and fluid. Malisse earned ten more points than Federer, but it wasn’t for him after converting just four of the 26 break opportunities.
On the other hand, Roger broke his serve five times out of eight chances and started again in the decider to advance to the next round. Despite winning the first two sets, Roger was unhappy with his play, faced too many break opportunities and lost ground from the baseline entirely in sets three and four to bring Xavier back into the fray.
Still, Federer figured out how to impose his blows again on the decider from a break to move on to the next round. “I think I was a bit lucky in the first set after saving a lot of break points, I don’t know how many, but I know there were a lot.
He had a chance to win the second set and I wasn’t happy with my game even after building a big lead. I think I can play much better than today; It was a battle in the end, and I just struggled to get out. I served quite well, especially in the first two sets when I had to play against those break opportunities.”
Ivanisevic reflects on Roger Federer
Goran Ivanisevic believes Roger Federer’s decision to withdraw from Roland Garros on account of physical issues was a “smart move.” “I think Roger made a smart move in Paris,” Ivanisevic said.
“He tested his body, whipped himself into shape a bit, and got exactly what he wanted; three matches under his belt and then he did not want to risk getting injured. Wimbledon is his number one goal.” Ivanisevic believes Federer will pose a threat at Wimbledon and, as such, hopes the Swiss is not placed in the same section of the draw as Novak Djokovic.
“To be honest, I would not want to see him (Roger Federer) in our part of the draw there. There are the usual suspects nowadays: Nadal, Tsitsipas, Zverev, Medvedev,” Novak Djokovic’s coach said. “There are a lot of dangerous floaters with big serves such as Raonic, Opelka, Isner. Cilic as well, who won’t be seeded, but who just won a title in Stuttgart.”