ao04federer_safin

Points won by each set: | 42-41, 35-26, 36-26 |
Points won directly behind the serve:
32 % Federer – 29 of 90
15 % Safin – 18 of 116

The match lasted 2 hours 15 minutes – exactly the same like a semifinal 11 years before concluded with the same scoreline. Safin [86] saved a double set point serving at 5:6 and three set points at 3:5 in the 2nd set. The ~23-year-old Federer [2] becomes the best player in the world thanks to that title. “There are a lot of young and very good players,” said Safin. “We’ll be famous in five years. It will be like Agassi, Sampras and McEnroe. It’s the evolution of tennis.”

Federer’s route to his first Aussie Open title:
1 Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-3, 6-4, 6-0
2 Jeff Morrison 6-2, 6-3, 6-4
3 Todd Reid 6-3, 6-0, 6-1
4 Lleyton Hewitt 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, 6-4
Q David Nalbandian 7-5, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
S Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4, 6-1, 6-4
W Marat Safin 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-2

Safin tied Harold Solomon‘s record (Roland Garros ’76) for the most sets played in the Grand Slam fortnight – 30 – and his tiredness was visible during the final. Here’s Safin’s epic route to the final:
1 Vahaly 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
2 Nieminen 7-6(5), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
3 T.Martin 7-5, 1-6, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5
4 Blake 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3
Q Roddick 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-7(0), 6-4
S Agassi 7-6(6), 7-6(6), 5-7, 1-6, 6-3

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