‘Without Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, we can beat USA’

Kicking off the season from outside the top-60, Roger Federer made notable progress in 2000, advancing into two ATP finals and gaining more than 30 positions on the ATP list to finish inside the top-30. Representing Switzerland with Martin Hingis at the Hopman Cup, Federer claimed the title to start the next season in a winning way, reaching the quarter-final in Sydney where Sebastien Grosjean beat him in straight sets.

At the Australian Open, the Swiss embraced three more encounters against the French rivals, defeating Arnaud Di Pasquale and Nicolas Escude to advance into the third round at the second straight Major. The young Swiss needed an hour and 45 minutes to dismiss Escude 6-1, 6-4, 6-4, firing 12 aces and fending off five out of six break chances to control the scoreboard and march into the last 32.

On the other hand, he broke Nicolas five times in total, making a perfect start and standing strong in sets two and three to seal the deal in straight sets, preparing for the duel against world no. 18 Arnaud Clement in round three.

Despite a high number of unforced errors, Roger was pleased with the performance against Escude and the fact he sealed the deal in under two hours, preserving energy for the next match that he lost in three tight sets. Asked about the upcoming Davis Cup clash against the USA in Basel, Federer believed Switzerland would stand a chance in front of the home fans and against the American squad without Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.

“It was a good match today; I’m happy about it. Straight sets victory; it’s always good to win in under two hours at Majors, it helps ahead of the next clash. I had a lot of unforced errors, I have to improve that.

Otherwise, I’m happy to be through to the third round. With Sampras and Agassi, it would be really tough to beat the USA in the Davis Cup. But now, they’re coming with Gambill, Woodruff, Todd Martin; in Basel, we will have a chance against these guys.”

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