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Grand Slam Titles



Following a year without a coach, Roger engages Australia’s Tony Roche. He defends his titles in Wimbledon and New York establishes his longest series of victories. In March he visits the IMBEWU project in South Africa, which is supported by his foundation.

Russia’s Marat Safin ends Roger's spell of 26 consecutive victories in the semi-final at the Australian Open in January. The Swiss is defeated 9:7 in the fifth set; Safin goes on to win the tournament. Roger's lead in the world rankings is melting.

Roger plays a show match against Agassi in Dubai in February on the helipad of the 7-star Burj al Arab Hotel, 211m above sea level. He wins the regular tournament a few days later, same as the finals at Rotterdam a week before. This is followed by three tournament victories in the Masters series category in Indian Wells, Miami and Hamburg.

Accompanied by his newly engaged coach, Tony Roche, Roger travels to the Paris tournament in May with great confidence. He reaches the semi-finals for the first time, only to be defeated by the 19-year old Spaniard, Rafael Nadal. Despite – or rather, because of – this defeat, he commences the grass court season highly motivated and wins in Halle for the third time. He also successfully defends his Wimbledon title; he beats Andy Roddick in an impressive display for the third time in a row in London. Despite a strong performance by the American, Roger can secure the hat trick after three sets – a feat only Björn Borg and Sampras had achieved after World War II.

In September, after Wimbledon, Roger wins the US Open for the second time, defending a further Grand Slam title. He faces the American Andre Agassi in the final. After losing the first set, Agassi wins the second and even breaks our number one’s service in the 3rd set. But Roger manages to break back right away winning the set in the tie-break and finally the match in four sets.

Before and after New York, Roger also wins Cincinnati and Bangkok. He reaches the finals at the Masters Cup at the end of the year to increas his longest series of victories to 35. David Nalbandian proves too strong for a tired Roger in the final match and ends Roger's consecutive finals victory spell at 24. Roger nevertheless remains the ATP number 1.

Besides all his sports commitments, Roger makes time in March to travel to South Africa to visit the IMBEWU project which is supported by his foundation. In the townships of Port Elizabeth, Roger visits the schools of the supported children and plays soccer with them. The input of the people who are locally responsible impresses Roger and convinces him that the support of this project is the right way forward.