Agassi bows out
The 2004 Australian Open grand slam tournament was in Melbourne from January 19 to February 1. Legend Andre Agassi was unsuccessful in defending his 2003 title, when he went down in the semi-finals to Russian Marat Safin. This loss ended a 26-match winning streak for Agassi at the Australian Open, having won in 2000, 2001 and 2003, missing 2002 through injury. Roger Federer won his very first Australian Open title in 2004, defeating Safin in the grand final 7-6, 6-4, 6-2. Serena Williams was unable to defend her 2003 title after withdrawing from the tournament due to a knee injury, leaving the final open to Belgian’s Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters to battle it out for the title. Henin-Hardenne proved just a little too strong for Clijsters taking the win 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, making it her first and only Australian open title. The Aussies didn’t fair well in the 2004 Open, with only a double pair in the junior boys making it to the final, who were later beaten by the Americans. Federer became the first Swiss male player to win the Australian Open singles title. Henin-Hardenne became the first Belgian player (male or female) to win the Australian Open singles title.