While defending champion Andre Agassi’s Grand Slam title-winning days were over his performance at Australian Open 2004, egged on by a record 521,691 fans, almost had the makings of a fairytale. Falling at the penultimate hurdle to Marat Safin, Agassi passed the Australian Open title torch to legend in the making, Roger Federer. A fully focused Safin was unable to prevent the Swiss from claiming the second Slam title of his career and his consequent elevation to world No.1, a ranking he then held for more than 200 weeks. No.4 seeded Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo was going great guns in the women’s draw until the fourth round when she injured her back and was forced to withdraw from the quarterfinal. Her benefactor, Fabiola Zuluaga, became the first Colombian woman to reach the semifinal of a Grand Slam. The women’s final was fought out between Belgians Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, the third time in four Grand Slams that they’d faced each other in the final. Henin maintained her perfect Slam head-to-head record and prevailed 6-3 4-6 6-3. Meanwhile Fabrice Santoro and Michael Llodra were so overjoyed to win their second Australian Open doubles title that they stripped to their underwear, throwing their sweaty tennis kit to fans.