Roger Federer marks special 21-year anniversary of early career moment
Roger Federer claimed his first ever ATP title 21 years ago today, a testament to his longevity and prowess within the sport.
The 20-time slam champion won the 2001 Milan Indoor on 4th February 2001 at the age of 19, his first of 103 ATP singles titles to date.
Federer was seeded seventh at the event which boasted world number one and 2000 US Open champion Marat Safin as well as two-time Major champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov as the top two seeds.
Former world number two Goran Ivanišević was also among the field, coming in as a wildcard ranked 123rd in the world, less than six months before his miraculous run to the 2001 Wimbledon title while ranked 125th in the world.
To win in Milan, Federer defeated Rainer Schüttler, Cyril Saulnier, Ivanišević, Kafelnikov before ousting Frenchman Julien Boutter in the final.
1 – On this day in 2001, Roger #Federer won his first ATP title in Milan against Julien Boutter in final: he is one amongst two players with 100+ career tournaments won (103) in the Open Era, alongside Jimmy Connors (109). Inception.#ATP #ATPTour pic.twitter.com/GfQckKQMXO
— OptaAce (@OptaAce) February 4, 2022
Federer never played the Milan event again, and the tournament was discontinued after the 2005 season.
The Swiss did not win another title in 2001, but did announce himself on an even bigger stage come that year’s Wimbledon.
There, he defeated former world number one, seven-time champion and four-time defending champion Pete Sampras, ousting the American in the fourth round over five sets.
Just two years later Federer won the first of his 20 Major titles to date, again at Wimbledon, defeating Mark Philippoussis in the final.
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