A teenaged Roger Federer in action on tour
Roger Federer registered his first ever main-draw victory on the ATP Tour on 30 September 1998, beating Guillaume Raoux at the Grand Prix de Tennis de Toulouse.
This past Thursday marked the 23rd anniversary of Federer’s win. To commemorate the occasion, Tennis TV posted a video on Twitter of Federer at the age of 17 speaking about how he wanted to qualify for the main draw of the French event.
“I hope to qualify for the main draw but I don’t expect too much,” Roger Federer said. “I just hope that I’m going to play well tomorrow.”
The Swiss received a wildcard into qualification, following his spectacular results on the junior tour that year.
Federer went on to beat Raoux 6-2, 6-2 to move into the second round, where he ousted Richard Fromberg 6-1, 7-6(5). However, the Swiss’ dream run came to an end in the last eight, where he lost to the eventual champion and then World No. 20 Jan Siemerink 7-6(5), 6-2.
Federer’s next match on tour was against Andre Agassi at the 1998 Basel Open. The American handed the Swiss a resounding 6-3, 6-2 defeat. The future 20-time Major champion had to wait until February 1999 to register his next win on the ATP tour.
Federer stunned the then World No. 5 Carlos Moya in the first round of the Open 13 in Marseille, beating the Spaniard 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-3.
A look at some of Roger Federer’s most notable results on the junior circuit in 1998
Roger Federer first triumphed at Wimbledon as a junior in 1998
Roger Federer won the Boys’ Singles title at Wimbledon in 1998. He entered the draw seeded fifth and did not drop a set throughout the duration of the tournament.
Federer also lifted the Boys’ Doubles title the same year after he and Olivier Rochus beat Michael Llodra and Andy Ram in the final. The Swiss had made the semifinals of the Boys’ Doubles event at the Australian Open earlier that year.
In addition to this, the Swiss also finished as a runner-up in the junior singles event at the US Open. Federer ended up losing the summit clash to David Nalbandian, who would go on to become one of the Swiss’ most significant rivals on the professional circuit.