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In Roger Federer’s words: ‘It feels good to score most wins in the season so far’

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Roger Federer achieved some big goals for the first time in 2002, playing in the first Masters 1000 final in Miami and winning the first title of this level in May in Hamburg, beating Marat Safin in the final. On the next day, the Swiss cracked the top-10 for the first time after staying in the top-15 for months, passing that obstacle and hoping for a notable run at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

Instead of that, he suffered early losses at both Majors and lost the ground in the next couple of months, making one last push during the fall indoor season to regain positions on the ATP ranking list and secure the place at the Masters Cup in Shanghai for the first time.

At the beginning of 2003, the Swiss couldn’t play at his best in Doha and Sydney after a groin injury, losing to David Nalbandian in the fourth round of the Australian Open and missing another chance to fight for the Major crown.

Roger started to play better from February, scoring two Davis Cup wins and lifting the trophy in Marseille and Dubai, looking for more of the same at the first Masters 1000 event of the season in Indian Wells. The Swiss had to work hard in the opening test, beating Felix Mantilla 6-7, 6-4, 4-1 as the Spaniard had to retire in the decider.

It was the 21st triumph for Roger in 2003, leading the standings in that segment and gaining confidence ahead of the upcoming encounters in Indian Wells and Miami. “I didn’t play for a few days after winning Dubai and when you start again, the body hurts.

It’s nice to come to any tournament after lifting the trophy at the previous one; it gives me confidence, especially ahead of such a big event like Indian Wells. It helps when you know you are the leader of the season in terms of the number of victories.

Physically, maybe not so much but I said I like to play in February. I would rather have this problem of winning too many matches than not winning enough. I feel good and I’m looking forward to my next clashes here and in Miami; those are very nice events. It would be great if I can play well at least at one of them.”

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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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