Roger Federer made his debut in the ATP rankings in September 1997 and took his first ATP-level victory a year later in Toulouse with 17. Roger’s main goal for that season was to finish as no. Roger picked up where he left off in the previous encounter, taking the first set 6-1 with two breaks and prevailing in the second to advance to the quarterfinals. Although his serve remained intact, he didn’t do as well as he did against Raoux, fending off all four break opportunities and taking the tie-break 7-5 to make it into the last eight. Roger’s journey came to an end in the quarterfinals when No. 20 Siemerink knocked him down 7-6, 6-2 in 79 minutes. It was Roger’s sixth game in a week, and he struggled with a throbbing thigh injury that prevented him from displaying his best tennis, facing ten break opportunities and missing three serves. Siemerink broke only once, and would win the tournament two days later, proving too strong for Roger and all the other opponents that week. Federer was rewarded with an immediate rebound in the ATP rankings for this fantastic participation, breaking the top-400 after gaining 482 positions in just one week! Until the end of the season, Roger also played in the main draw of the ATP tournament at home in Basel, losing to the great Andre Agassi in the first round and concentrating on the junior Tour in the final weeks of the year.
Bertolucci comments on Roger Federer
Former Italian Davis Cup captain Paolo Bertolucci recently remarked that while Roger Federer epitomizes tennis, Novak Djokovic is the best player of all time. According to Bertolucci, Djokovic and Nadal have unparalleled levels of mental strength, which sets them apart from their peers. During a recent interview with Corriere Della Sera Veneto, Paolo Bertolucci was asked for his two cents on the GOAT debate between Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. “Federer is tennis, we are all Federians, but the Djokovic of 2013 and of the last year and a half is the strongest player ever,” Bertolucci said. “He and Nadal are able to keep mental and competitive rhythms that I would not have managed even five minutes. But how do they do it? I envy and admire them. They (Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic) know the past of their sport and respect it,” the Italian said. “You can meet them at dinner, if you cross them they come to greet you, they know who you are and what you did and chat with you. It is a sign of education, but also of historical culture and modesty. And let’s talk about planetary champions, not just tennis. Apart from them, I don’t know anyone off the pitch.”