Speaking after the 2001 US Open fourth round loss, 20-year-old Roger Federer was happy with the season so far. The young Swiss climbed up the list and moved closer to the top-10. Roger started the season in Sydney as the 30th best player in the world, winning four matches in Australia before claiming the first ATP indoor title in Milan in February. With his game perfectly adapted for fast indoor surfaces, Federer posted three Davis Cup victories over the USA. USA and advanced to the semi-final in Marseille and the final in Rotterdam for the player of the month award. The Swiss competed in the Miami quarterfinals and set his sights on the slower surface, where he did not play well in previous years. On clay, Roger was the quarter-finalist at Monte Carlo and Roland Garros, earning his first notable result at Majors as a teenager and repeating that at Wimbledon a couple of weeks later. At the All England Club, the junior champion from three years ago ousted seven-time winner Pete Sampras in the fourth round in a thrilling five-setter, going into the last eight where he lost to Tim Henman after a great battle. Despite a groin injury sustained at Wimbledon, Roger decided to go home to Gstaad and compete on clay the following week, making only three matches against Ivan Ljubicic and staying off the court for six weeks. Federer returned to action at the US Open and suffered a loss to world no. 2, Andre Agassi, in the round of 16. The American saved all nine break points and stole his opponent’s serve five times to control the pace and leave Roger behind.
Arias opens up on King Roger
During a recent conversation on the Tennis Channel, former World No. 5 Jimmy Arias was asked to name the top three one-handed players on tour, excluding Roger Federer, who has not been in action for almost a year. “I went with Stan as well because of the 3 Majors and the fact that he absolutely crushes that backhand with incredible pace,” Jimmy Arias said, adding, “When he’s on, he’s the one guy I’ve ever seen that can overpower Novak Djokovic in baseline rallies. With forehand, backhand Djokovic has nothing that he can do when Stan was on in those finals.” Arias also called Roger Federer’s one-handed return the best among the lot. “Dominic Thiem again, huge backhand from anywhere,” he stated. “Richard Gasquet, I almost feel as if I should put him at one because his return. Those two guys, Stan and Thiem, get behind on the points with their return of serve. Gasquet’s is a little bit better, he’s not as behind in points off his backhand return, which is why we’re going back we can’t say Federer. I actually like Federer’s the best because he’s the one returner with one hand that stays at least neutral. It’s incredible in a lot of ways,” Arias said.