Following the breakthrough run at Wimbledon 2001, Roger Federer added the first Masters 1000 crown to his tally in 2002. The Swiss won three titles that year and finished just outside the top-5 despite failing to reach a Major quarter-final.
Sydney and Hamburg were Roger’s lucky grounds in 2002 before adding the third trophy to his collection in Vienna on October 13. The youngster had a busy schedule that year, entering many tournaments and traveling to Vienna from Moscow, where he lost in the quarter-final to Marat Safin in straight sets.
Roger loved to play in Austria, and this was his fourth consecutive appearance in the capital city. He went all the way to lift the crown he would defend a year later against Carlos Moya. Federer made a strong start against Zeljko Krajan and had to work harder versus Tommy Robredo in round two, scoring a 6-2, 6-7, 6-4 win in just under two hours to enter the last eight.
Roger lost only nine points on serve against Bohdan Ulihrach in a commanding 6-3, 6-3 triumph that pushed him into the semi-final. Carlos Moya had nothing in his arsenal to challenge the Swiss, who secured a 6-2, 6-3 victory in just over an hour for a place in the title match against world no.
12 Jiri Novak. Federer needed two hours and nine minutes to prevail 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 for his first indoor hard title. He fended off seven out of ten break chances and stole the rival’s serve six times from 12 opportunities to secure the crown in four sets.
Novak forced many errors from the Swiss, but Roger dominated with his serve and forehand to fire over 50 winners, playing better in the crucial moments to wrap up the encounter and claim the title. Federer had the advantage in the shortest and most extended exchanges.
He kicked off the clash in a more decisive fashion for an early lead after breaking Novak in the sixth game after a solid forehand attack. The Swiss fired a forehand winner in the next one to open a 5-2 lead.
Roger Federer won the fourth ATP title in Vienna 2002.
The Czech fended off two set points in game eight and broke back a few minutes later with a forehand winner to prolong the set.
Jiri wasted a game point for 5-5, and Roger found a way to score a break after a loose forehand from his opponent, taking the opener 6-4 and building momentum. Jiri was there to fight, and he converted the sixth break chance at the beginning of the second set.
He moved forward with a smash winner before losing the lead in the next game when his backhand landed long. Federer placed a forehand down the line winner in the fourth game for another break of serve that sent him 3-1 up. The young Swiss repelled a break chance with an ace in the next game to increase his advantage.
It was all about Roger in those moments, as he clinched another break at 4-1 with a forehand down the line winner. He closed the set with a solid hold in game seven, giving him two sets to love lead in swift 69 minutes. Novak raised his level in the third set, serving well and breaking Roger at 4-3 to grab the set on his serve when Federer netted a routine backhand in game nine.
The Swiss bounced back and kept his focus in set number four. He dropped five points on serve and earned a break in the tenth game following a lucky net cord winner that carried him towards the fourth ATP title. Thus, Roger continued his charge through the rankings and returned to the top-10, where he would stay for the next 14 years!