‘I’m capable of beating them’

After reaching two Major finals in 2001, Roger Federer was ready to seek a top-10 spot and the ATP Finals berth in 2002. The Swiss kicked off the mentioned season with the Sydney crown and the Australian Open fourth round, lingering on the edge of the elite group and hoping to find himself there soon.

Roger failed to defend the Milan title before scoring wins over Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin in the Davis Cup in Russia on clay. The Swiss did not play well at the following three events, suffering early losses in Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells and leaving with only four victories.

Returning to Miami following the quarter-final run a year ago, Federer took down Jeff Morrison in the first match for a winning start. He ousted world no. 25 Albert Portas and world no. 6 Tim Henman to repeat the result from 2001 and find himself in the last eight.

Henman had to retire after the first set, and Roger had more than enough time to prepare for the quarter-final clash against Andrei Pavel. The Swiss defeated the Romanian 6-1, 6-1 in under an hour after one of his season’s best displays up to that point.

Roger was pleased with how he performed. He stayed focused from start to finish and dominated serve and return to set the clash against Lleyton Hewitt or Marat Safin, other super-talented youngsters born in the early 80s.

Roger Federer reached the 2002 Miami Masters semi-final.

Roger expressed confidence ahead of the next match, feeling great on the court and fancying his chances against Hewitt or Safin while seeking the first Masters 1000 final.

Federer had a negative score with Hewitt, beating him only once and hoping to improve that in Miami. On the other hand, he knew how to play against Marat, defeating him in both encounters before Florida. “I have had many excellent matches against Lleyton Hewitt.

I played him maybe five times, lost four, and beat him once. We always had tough battles that lasted three or four sets. I feel I can beat him; I’ve got the game and know the tactics and strategy of playing him. On the other hand, I defeated Marat Safin in both encounters; I feel good ahead of the semi-final,” Roger Federer said.

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