In May 2003, the players had the last preparations for the upcoming Roland Garros in Rome and Hamburg, shaping up their game for the season's second Major and hoping to carry that form into Wimbledon as well. World no. 5 Roger Federer was among the Italian capital's favorites, raising his level again after a short campaign at the "Sunshine double" and standing where he was in February.
Federer was the Tour leader with 26 victories before the clay swing, skipping Monte Carlo and entering Munich. Roger played on a high level in Bavaria and beat all five opponents in under five hours to lift the seventh ATP trophy and gain momentum ahead of the Masters 1000 event in Rome.
Roger Federer spoke about his chances at the upcoming Majors in Rome 2003.
Not playing that well in the Italian capital in the previous years, Roger was on a roll that week at Foro Italico. The Swiss beat Paul-Henri Mathieu, Mariano Zabaleta and world no.
19 Tommy Robredo to rattle off 16 straight sets on the slowest surface and advance into the last eight. Robredo should have been a fierce rival to pass, but Federer took him down 6-1, 6-1 in short 49 minutes, dominating both serve and return to find himself in the last eight and stay on the title course.
Asked about the upcoming Roland Garros and Wimbledon, where he lost in the first round a year ago, Roger admitted his chances are higher at Wimbledon and that he still needs to work very hard to earn any Major title, regardless of the surface.
RogerFederer said as cited by Sports Central: "We all can play only a couple of tournaments on the grass during the season. Still, it's a better surface for me than clay because the rivals are a bit less dangerous than those on the slowest surface. On clay, you have many guys who are very hard to beat at Roland Garros in seven matches over two weeks.
He added: I think it's more difficult for me to win Roland Garros than Wimbledon. But, I'm far from winning any Major at the moment, and if you ask me which one I would love to conquer, the answer is any. My game is more suitable for faster courts, and that provides the clue; my chances are better at Wimbledon..