When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more? - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more?

Retrospectivley we know Roger Federer won 15 Grand Sham titles in 6 years exactly. No one has ever dominated the ATP tour like his 6 years and I doubt anyone ever will again. They might win more than 15 slam titles but they wont win them in such a space of time.

Federer was still fairly old for a first time slam winner, not like a Shampras or Borg, the next two in line GOATS.

When Federer won the 2003 final over Phil Ah Poo Sis, im sure fans must have said shit about him like "he will never win another slam, it was a fluke" etc, just as they say about Del Potro, Djokovic etc.

Or that he will be a 2 slam wonder in the mould of Never on time Hughwitt and Cafin, even though at that time those players were still 1 slam wonders. But there were other 1 slam wonders like Yan Carlos Fer Choko etc at that time.

Did a lot of people think he would only win a few slams if that? Especially after he lost at next USO to obese Dave. Infact it took 3 years after beating Pat Shampras to amass 3 grand slam titles, and sandwhiched in between he looked even worse than Shampras on clay getting booted from the French Open. So yeah maybe people did say he wouldn't win too many.

What I'm asking is obviously no one could have forseen the unprecedented dominance that would eventually follow, but did many pundits talk him up the way they do Mugray now, or were tennis connisueers much more cynical in those days?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 04:35 AM
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Re: When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more?

I was expecting him to win a couple more Wimbledon titles and maybe one or two hardcourt slams (maybe being the operative word) but no one was expecting the way he took the tour by storm

Everyone was expecting Roger to win Wimbledon in 2001 after he defeated Sampras but it wasn't meant to be, he had to live with the pressure for the next year (specially after that first round loss to Ancic in 02) but there were more REAL slam contenders back then than nowadays (anyone really believes that a player outside of the top 7 can win a Slam these days? ) so it was much harder because the level was more even, the times of the transitional champions are like that

It also comes from the culture, Britain has expected a GS champ like the jewish have been expecting the Messiah, while no one in Switzerland really expected to have one of the greatest players to come from their lands; Murray has been vastly overhyped by the english speaking media, Roger did have some pressure but never as much as Murray has had, specially around the Wimbledon times

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 05:24 AM
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Re: When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more?

ETA: Nevermind.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 07:25 AM
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Re: When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more?

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When Federer won the 2003 final over Phil Ah Poo Sis, im sure fans must have said shit about him like "he will never win another slam, it was a fluke" etc, just as they say about Del Potro, Djokovic etc.

Or that he will be a 2 slam wonder in the mould of Never on time Hughwitt and Cafin, even though at that time those players were still 1 slam wonders.
I don't know what all fans said, but a number of people had been expecting him to "give real trouble", to use the phrase of a friend of mine, from when he won Wimby Jr Singles. Many people were just surprised that his first slam had been so long in coming. I think it was McEnroe who said when he beat Sampras that this fellow (Roger) could win a few slams. Ay year or two later I think he said that if anyone were to beat Sampras' 14 slams, it would most likely be Federer.

So no, quite a few people who'd been following him from Juniors expected he would win multiple slams, though nobody envisaged his phenomenal success.



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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 07:39 AM
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Re: When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more?

Yes I thought he would win 20-25 slams and therefore I consider his career a major underachievement unless he can win a few more!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 07:55 AM
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Re: When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more?

I thought he could get like 10 maybe
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 10:32 AM
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Re: When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more?

Wasn't sure. Part of me thought he was so good he must go on to win many, part of me thought Wimbledon 2003 would be tennis's last victory in an age of ball-bashers & top-spin grinders.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 11:55 AM
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Re: When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more?

Of course. People always think players win more after their first GS victory. Well, apart from Ivanisevic maybe.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 12:49 PM
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Re: When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more?

The OP forgets that Federer was massively hyped since his days as the junior #1. When he started on the ATP tour commentators were calling him the next big thing and a surefire future #1. Some experts claimed already back then that he was arguably the most naturally gifted player they had seen.

So expectations of him were HUGE from the getgo. Luckily for him he wasn't an American, but a quiet guy from Switzerland, so he didn't get much mainstream press coverage and could therefore focus on developing his game. It took a long time for him to really find his game and during 2000-2002 I'm sure many of us figured that Federer was just another massively talented player who was just too inconsistent.

That all changed more or less overnight when he won Wimbledon in 2003. Bandwagoning was prevalent even then and while I don't recall 2003 with great precision, I'm sure that there were plenty of overblown predictions regarding his future (that turned out to not so overblown after all).

So generally I think the answer to your question is YES!

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 03:43 PM
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Re: When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more?

I thought he would win some more. Maybe even equal the likes of Becker or Edberg. But I certainly did not expect 15! He had not exhibited the mental strength to play at that level. Something clicked in him mentally around the Masters Cup 2003 and Australian Open 2004.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 04:35 PM
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Re: When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more?

Great things were expected of Federer since his junior days. He turned pro in 1998 but it took him 4 years to win his first tournament. So-called pundits marveled at his pure tennis athleticism, but it failed to produce a win in four years. So by 2002, young Roger was being seen as a player who never quite lived up to his potential. We have many of those today, Andy Murray, Richard Gasquet, Tomas Berdych.

Roger didn't win any tournaments right out of the gate, like Bjorn Borg and Rafa, but it may have been this slow development which let him avoid the mental burnout of Borg at such a young age; or Rafa's nagging little injuries which some pundits portend a shortened career.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 07:55 PM
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Re: When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more?

Yea you could see the talent in Federer even way back in 2001 when he defeated Sampras. I never would have thought he would have been as dominant over the field (aside from against Nadal) as long as he was though. I never been so sure if it was Roger being just too good or the field outside of Nadal never being good enough or confident enough. Nadal proved time and time again Fed was beatable. No one else ever did though during 4-5 years of his run
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 11:15 PM
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Re: When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more?

Federer started off as more a Serve and Volleyer, and it was clear that he was molded after Sampras. Pretty good forehand, big serve (with the identical motion), touch and so forth. However, it wasnt until 2002 that he started developing his baseline game to take out some of the counterstrikers on the tour (the Hewitts of the world).

Developing an allcourt game takes a lot of time and effort, so in a sense it doesn't surprise me that he took awhile to develop.

Actually, in retrospect (say late 02, early 2003), I wasnt that impressed with his game yet contrary to a lot of bandwagoners (who turned out to be correct). But I did think he was going to get a clay court championship at one point b/c he was super fast and could play consistent tennis. I thought he had the talent to play on grass, but not necessarily the mental.

The 2002-2003 change in his game was monumental though, and we probably won't ever see anything quite that drastic again. All of a sudden his forehand becomes a weapon of death, and his backhand starts clicking and then the icey demeanor and concentration starts kicking in. Couple that to his already excellent serve and net game, and well it became too much for most mortals to play against. All of a sudden a tennis player emerges that has no obvious attackable weakness, and well the domination more or less flows from there.

After the 2003 wimbledon, I knew he was in for a lot of slams if he could keep his consistency, b/c for all intents and purposes he was unplayable.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 11:58 PM
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Re: When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more?

Actually after his first GS I thought: "what the deuce? ...well, nevermind, he won't be as good as Juan Carlos Ferrero anyway." hah.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 12:05 AM
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Re: When Federer won his first slam in 2003, did people think he would win any more?

a lot of commentators were saying "finally he's confirming his talent" Personally I thought he would win more slams, but I had no idea he would dominate the way he did
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