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Roger moves up to the number 1 junior and wins the junior tournament at Wimbledon. He makes his début on the professional circuit at the Swiss Open in Gstaad. In autumn he enters the tournament in Basel - his hometown - for the first time and that against no other than Andre Agassi. He celebrates New Year's Eve with blonde hair.

In the season of 1998, Roger takes up the challenge at the semi-finals of the junior tournament of the Australian Open. In June he is the winner in a town where he, years later, will enjoy a long string of victories: he wins the singles as well as the doubles (together with Oliver Rochus) in the junior tournament in Wimbledon.

His victory in England earns him a wild card for the clay court tournament in the Swiss Alps. He travels directly from London to Gstaad, where he loses against the Argentinean qualifier Lucas Arnold in two sets (4:6, 4:6). Roger fares better in the tournament in Toulouse, where he qualifies, defeats two professional players and only drops out in the quarter-finals against the player to later win the tournament.

Due to another wild card, he participates in the tournament in Basel – his home town – in October, where he has to play Andre Agassi, who indeed concedes only 5 games in two sets to young Roger. In December he wins the Orange Bowl, the unofficial junior world championship in Key Biscayne (USA), and ends the year as the number 1 in the junior world ranking. Our hero celebrates this triumph with freshly-dyed blonde hair.