The Armenian Sargis Sargsian did not know, could not know that 17 years later, ESPN Tennis was going to start a note writing about him. Sargis Sargsian was Roger Federer’s rival in the first round of Halle 2003.
Sargis Sargsian lost 7-5 and 6-1 to the Swiss and Sargis Sargsian was the first of 65 straight wins for Federer on grass.
Kiefer won the Halle final that year. Mardy Fish next, Marat Safin in 2005. Thomas Berdych in 2006. He did not play in 2007. The 2008 final was won by Philipp Kohlschreiber in 2008: 25 straight wins in Halle, between 2003 and 2008.
At Wimbledon he added another 40: from Korean Hyung-Taik Lee in the first round of 2003, there were also five His Majesty titles. He beat Mark Philippoussis in his first final, Andy Roddick twice (2004 and 2005) and Rafael Nadal the following (2006 and 2007).
The 65th win was in the 2008 Wimbledon semifinals, against Marat Safin, in straight sets (6-3 7-6 (3) and 6-4). The damn number, 66, did not arrive due to work and thanks from his friend and main rival in those years. Nadal won one of the most remembered finals of a Grand Slam 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), and 9-7.