Roger Federer has created a memorable legacy at the Australian Open – and continues to draw a packed crowd whenever he graces the court. The Swiss player made his Melbourne debut in 2000 reaching the third round, and has never fallen before that stage in 17 consecutive appearances Down Under.
Federer's victory over Marat Safin in the 2004 final was the second Grand Slam title of his career and secured his place in history as the first Swiss man to win an Australian Open trophy. It elevated him to the world No.1 ranking setting him on the path to another record, his 237-week reign from that point making him the longest-serving world No.1 in history.
After losing to Safin in the semifinal of Australian Open 2005, throwing away a match point in the fourth set tiebreak with a dubious between-the-legs shot, Federer returned in 2006 to win the title over Marcos Baghdatis. The occasion, which saw Federer drop the first set to the Cypriot before winning 5-7 7-5 6-0 6-2, was momentous, the Swiss man weeping as his hero Rod Laver presented him with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup. "I hope you know how much this means to me," he sobbed wiping tears from his eyes.
The win made him the first since Pete Sampras in 1994 to win three consecutive majors and was Federer's seventh Slam title, tying him with John McEnroe, John Newcombe and Mats Wilander.