Roger Federer wrapped up the 2003 season with his first ATP Masters Cup title. The Swiss finished the season ranked 2nd behind Andy Roddick and wanted to make changes ahead of the new season. Working with Peter Lundgren since 2000, Roger decided to part ways with the Swede and entered the 2004 season without a coach.
Before the tournament, former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash had criticized Federer for leaving Lundgren just before the season’s first Major, calling it “inexplicable” and drawing Roger’s girlfriend, Mirka, into the story. As was predicted, Federer was unhappy when he heard about that, saying he did not care what Pat Cash thought as he did not know him.
Also, the Swiss confirmed he was looking for a coach, making no-hurry decisions and waiting for the right opportunity in the next couple of months. Federer made a winning start in Melbourne without a coach in his box, beating Alex Bogomolov Jr.
6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in an hour and a half. Roger always had the upper hand, dropping 15 points in 13 service games and never facing a break point. With the pressure on his side, Bogomolov Jr. lost almost half of the points behind the initial shot, suffered five breaks and faded from the court in the third to propel Federer through.
One break of serve in each of the opening two sets was enough for Roger to move two sets to love in front. He dominated the third and sealed the deal with a service winner in game six for a place in the second round.
Roger Federer blasted Pat Cash at the 2004 Australian Open.
“Even without a coach, I feel good on the court.
It isn’t easy to start the season without a coach, but that was my decision. I thought about it for a long time, probably six months. So, I do not care what Pat Cash says. I did not read his article; people told me what he said.
I could not believe it, as nothing of that was right. I do not even know Pat Cash and can not take his words seriously, as he does not know me. I know what is true and what is not valid. What he is saying is not right and not fair.
I’m looking for a coach and trying to make the right decisions. I do not want to stress into something, and it will take a few weeks or months to make a move. I do not know who will be my next coach. Working with me is a good challenge for any coach; I’m different than the other guys.
You got to know each other a bit and feel you can get along well over 20 or 30 weeks a year; that’s not easy,” Roger Federer said.