2004 saw Roger Federer become the dominant force in world tennis. He completed arguably the most spectacular 12 months by a tennis player in the open era, becoming the first man since 1988 to win three out of four Grand Slam events in the same calendar year, winning the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open. He also won Wimbledon in 2003, becoming the first Swiss to do so.
Now 24, Federer established himself as indisputable World No 1, winning 11 times in 2004, the best performance in almost 20 years, and he is unbeaten in his last 15 finals, a record in the open era.
Federer began the year winning the Australian Open for the first time, defeating Marat Safin in the final. He then defended his Wimbledon crown, using his skills and finesse to overcome Andy Roddick's power game. By winning the Gstaad tournament on clay and the Toronto Masters on hardcourt shortly after the grass of Wimbledon, he completed a rare triple of consecutive tournament victories on three different surfaces. In September, he beat Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets in the most one-sided final in the 120 year history of the US Open and he finished the year taking the Tennis Masters Cup at Houston for the second time in a row.
With a win-loss record of 74-6 and 11 tournament wins, the year 2004 belonged to Federer. What makes it an even more remarkable achievement is that he did it without a coach, relying solely on his fitness trainer Pierre Paganini and physiotherapist Pavel Kovac.