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In Roger Federer’s words: ‘If I don’t win the title this year, I will come back..’

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At Wimbledon 2003, Roger Federer was ready to finally chase the elusive crown at Majors, playing on a high level and passing the quarter-final obstacle for the first time. Roger lost only one set against Hyung-Taik Lee, Stefan Koubek and Mardy Fish, finding himself in the second week where he toppled Feliciano Lopez despite a severe back injury that almost cost him the opening set and maybe the entire match.

In the quarters, Federer defeated Sjeng Schalken (who was also injured) to set the anticipated clash against Andy Roddick, with two youngsters fighting for the first Major final. Federer was the only player on the court that day, scoring a 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 win in an hour and 43 minutes, fending off a set point in the opening set tie break and never looking back in sets two and three.

Roddick wasted his only two break opportunities at the beginning of the second set. That was almost everything he did on the return, struggling to find the pace and getting broken three times to propel Roger over the finish line.

Blasting 34 service winners and mighty 40 from the field, Federer sprayed only 35 errors to tame his strokes nicely and mount the pressure on the other side of the net that Roddick couldn’t endure. After the match, Roger said this result would give him a lot of confidence, proving he is a Grand Slam material and hoping for more of the same in the final against Mark Philippoussis.

“I still have one more match to play and if I don’t win the title, I will try to come back and win it in the upcoming years. This Wimbledon has shown to me I can fight for the big titles, making the next step as I never played in the semis before.

I knew I could perform well in the best-of-five Davis Cup clashes but you don’t play them that often, especially if you lose early at Majors. This result will give me confidence and experience ahead of the next tournaments; I have won many matches this year, which provides me with an extra boost.”

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End SARS: Details of Ooni’s meeting with Obasanjo emerge

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Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife, on Monday hosted Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former President, with an appeal to the End SARS protesters across Nigeria to retreat.

Ooni, while receiving Obasanjo at his Ile Oodua Palace, Ile-Ife, described the End SARS protests as a clear message by the Nigerian youth to the government.

He also urged the youths to give the government the chance to attend to their demands fully.

Daily Post Nigeria

The royal father said, “If you look at the End SARS protest, you’ll see that our youths have what it takes to rule the country.

“Since day one, they’ve shown leadership, accountability and a huge sense of responsibility which has sent a clear message to the government.

“Every day at 11:50 pm, they displayed their financial update, and to me, I am highly amazed by their sense of accountability.

“As a youth leader myself, I’m proud that we all have communicated our ideas, and it’s heartwarming that we’ve been heard.

“Dear youths, it’s time to retreat so as to prevent those with ulterior motives from hijacking the peaceful message of peace.

“The whole world is aware of our peaceful conduct, and we must not let some bad elements tarnish this enviable integrity.

“Once again, I wish to urge our youths to stop the protest, for now and give peace a chance. This will prevent the government from using force.”

Speaking earlier, NAN reports that Obasanjo described the EndSARS protest as the product of an extensive agitation by the Nigerian youth that needed to be attended to by the government.

He said: “More than 65 percent of our population are under the ages of 18 and 30; they aren’t only struggling to acquire education, they’re also aspiring for the best that life can offer them.

“Some of them did not even get educated, while those who are educated are getting frustrated because of lack of opportunities. We must realize that the lid on the boiling steam would’ve to be removed.

But, I believe that there are windows of opportunity which the government can explore to show that it cares about the people’s welfare, especially the youth, as the father of the country and particularly, as the father of the youth.

“Fortunately, the President has children, and he knows how youths behave.

“I believe that the opportunities can still be taken to let the youth know that he, as a father, understands their plight and that his government understands their plight and he’s ready to make life better for them.”

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