He was being tipped as a future star, but few could have foreseen his impact on tennis.
The 19-year-old Roger Federer had downed defending champion Pete Sampras in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2001, and reached the world’s top 10 the following year.
He had yet to reach a grand slam final, but that all changed at Wimbledon in 2003 when Federer took down American Andy Roddick in the semifinal.
He followed it up with a straight-sets victory over Australia’s Mark Philippoussis in the final to become the first Swiss player to win at the All England Club.
It was the first of eight Wimbledon titles and 20 grand slam crowns, at the last count.
“You can’t really understand it at the moment it happens,” Federer told CNN’s Patrick Snell the next day. “I never thought it’s going to be this way.”
Watch Federer’s 2003 interview with CNN World Sport at the top of the page.