»Grass is slippery, and I could have injured myself »

Roger Federer recalls: ''Grass is slippery, and I could have injured myself''

After a tough first-round loss to Mario Ancic at Wimbledon 2002, a former quarter-finalist Roger Federer was ready to shine again in the cathedral of tennis. The Swiss scored two straight-sets triumphs for a strong start of the 2003 campaign.

Federer won the opening set in swift 24 minutes against Hyung-Taik Lee and struggled a bit in the third, still doing enough to set the second-round clash against his friend Stefan Koubek on Centre Court. The Austrian fought bravely in the first set against the youngster, forging a 5-2 advantage before Federer used a rain delay to recover his game.

Once they returned, the Swiss was the only player on the court, rattling off 17 of the last 19 games to sprint past the opponent 7-5, 6-1, 6-1 in 77 minutes.

Roger Federer defeated Stefan Koubek in straight sets at Wimbledon 2003.

Roger served well, dropping 22 points in 13 service games and standing way above Stefan once he found his A-game to bring the victory home in no time in sets two and three.

Koubek made a great start, opening a 5-2 advantage with a single break before Federer bounced back, fending off a set point and taking five straight games to steal the set. Roger gained a massive boost and raced towards the finish line with reliable performance in sets two and three.

Federer fell twice on the slippery surface, explaining it does not help when you think about tricky movement on grass all the time and that you have to leave it behind and carry on with your game. « The grass is quite slippery, and you have to watch out; I felt twice and could have earned injury.

It does not help if you always think about falling; it affects your movement. You often do not know why you slipped, which makes you a little worried. It’s important to forget that and carry on. I can always improve my serve & volley game, but it worked well today, so as my return since the first practice runs here.

My next rival has a powerful serve, and we will see what will happen. I’m not thinking about the match against Mardy yet. I know he is a dangerous rival; he likes to play on fast surfaces and has a solid all-around game. I have to watch out and make the best preparation for that one, » Roger Federer said.

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