Points won by each set: | 32-32, 31-24, 34-42, 28-21 |
Points won directly behind the serve:
35 % Federer – 45 of 127
15 % Nalbandian – 18 of 117
In my opinion, the most important matches in Federer’s  transition from one of the best players of a new generation into the best player in history (no doubt about it 2010, the perspective has been different since 2020 though). He defeated in back-to-back matches his biggest foes (at the time he had a 2-7 H2H record vs Hewitt and 1-5 vs Nalbandian, having lost to them both matches on Rod Laver Arena a year before). The crucial moment of the match against Hewitt  came at 3:2 (30/40) – Hewitt served an ace and should have been 3-all, but the linesman called ‘foot fault” and the point was repeated. The Swiss got the only break of the 4th set at 2-all when displayed phenomenal defence.
There was 5-all (15/40) in the opening set against Nalbandian , when Federer struck four consecutive aces! In the 2nd set he came back from a break twice. He led 5:4* in the 3rd set, but losing the set being four points away from victory, didn’t upset him at all, and he raced to a 3:0 lead in the set no. 4… At the time there were six young players who seemed to be at similar level: born in 1980 Ferrero & Safin (one major title each), born in 1981 Hewitt (two major titles) & Federer (one major title), born in 1982 Roddick (one major title) & Nalbandian (one major final). When the year 2004 kicked off, it wasn’t easy to predict who would have the most successful career… after Australian Open, Federe left them all behind his back.
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