Roger Federer, who turns 39 today, marked him in many interviews: his defeat against Franco Squillari changed his way of behaving on the court.
The talented Argentine left-hander won 6-3 and 6-4 in the first round of Hamburg 2001. The match lasted 65 ‘but scored Roger Federer. “I couldn’t keep playing with that attitude. So it was a moment of attitude change in my career,” said the Swiss at the 2015 US Open.
“I looked at where the volley had gone and wondered what the hell was going on at the time. He was glued to the bottom canvas trying to throw a passing shot and I couldn’t volley well. He grabbed me so mad I crashed the racket.” Federer said of the match point that would give Squillari the win.
The rebellious Federer was very well portrayed by Dorochenko, his former PF, in an interview with ESPN Tennis a couple of months ago: “Federer was crazy, he wasn’t going to train.”
Squillari closed his career with a remarkable record. Not only did he beat Federer in Hamburg but he also did so two years later, in Sydney 2003 6-2, 6-3.