On This Day: Roger Federer Wins First Australian Open Title 

Roger Federer wins his first Australian Open title

Roger Federer claimed his first Australian Open crown on February 1, 2004. Roger defeated Marat Safin 7-6, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 15 minutes to lift his second Major crown and become the number one of the world one. A year earlier, Federer played 95 matches and won Wimbledon and the Masters Cup, becoming the contender for the ATP throne.

The Swiss arrived there after winning the 2004 Australian Open, beginning his reign that would last four and a half years.. Safin arrived in Melbourne as the world number one. 86 after injuries, playing well and returning to the title clash.

A former finalist produced top-class tennis to reach the title match. He beat defending champion Andre Agassi and top seed Andy Roddick, but lost too much energy in those bouts before the final showdown. Safin dropped nine sets in the first six meetings, including five sets against the aforementioned Americans in the previous two rounds.

So it was done and dust when Roger claimed the opener in the tiebreaker, with nothing else in the tank in the third set. Both struggled to find the first serve. However, Federer played against just three break chances, losing serve twice and mounting the pressure on Safin all the time.

The Swiss earned 18 break chances and converted five to win in straight sets. Roger had a clear advantage on the shorter points, producing plenty of damage with his booming serve and an initial forehand that left Marat unanswered.

Despite his tiredness, the Russian had a slight advantage at midrange and longer exchanges. Still, more was needed to give him a more favorable outcome, facing too many break points to have any chance against such a strong opponent.

Safin got off to a great start after breaking Roger in the third game when the Swiss hit an easy forehand. Federer did not have to chase the result for long. He returned a few minutes later with a solid forehand attack that Safin couldn’t control.

Roger delivered another break in game six to take a 4-2 lead and gain momentum. Marat was there to compete.

Roger Federer defeated Marat Safin in the 2004 Australian Open final.

He pulled back the break in the next game after forcing Roger’s error with his signature backhand down the line of shot that the Swiss couldn’t handle.

Safin was in all sorts of trouble at 5-6, coming from 40-15 down to fend off two set points and set up the tiebreaker. It started with four consecutive mini-breaks and Federer took control after that. The Swiss clinched the set with a forehand down the line winner on the tenth point and gained huge momentum, leaving the tired Safin almost no chance to come back.

The tennis level dropped a bit in set number two. Federer grabbed the first break at 2-2 and held on love to cement the break and gain full control. Marat broke his second racket of the match after a double fault in the seventh game.

He offered Roger another break chance and he found a way to stay intact and avoid a double break deficit. Federer navigated through his service games, taking advantage on returns and creating three set points at 5-3. Marat repelled them, but was only able to extend the set for another game, as Roger was held at love again in the tenth game to make the set 6-4 and move closer to the finish line.

Nothing worked for the Russian, and he broke at 1-1 in the third set despite saving the first three break points. With victory in sight, Roger allowed three deuces on serve in the next game, but ultimately held for a 3-1 lead.

The pressure was back on Safin, who was able to see clear writing on the wall after experiencing another break in the fifth game. Roger extended the lead with a glorious forehand winner. He sealed the deal when Marat made a forehand error in the eighth game, celebrating his second Major title in seven months and becoming world number one. one.

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