Marat Safin defeated Lleyton Hewitt in the 2005 Australian Open final to win his second and final Grand Slam title (the previous one was the 2000 US Open) and to send a message to the tennis world.
Roger Federer was the defending champion and he wandered through every tournament that appeared on the calendar. However, the Swiss was beaten in the semi-finals by the Russian despite having a match point in the fourth set and thus ended the Swiss’s 26-game winning streak. That game of 4 hours and 38 minutes could mean physical and mental exhaustion, however, they were the engine to go for more.
The 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 and 6-4 did not mean flipping the racket or fainting on the floor of Melbourne Park. Clenched fist and the certainty of duty accomplished. Like almost everything in the life of a sports worker.
The 193cm Russian had already been ATP world number one five years prior to 2000 and had achieved most of his 15 titles but Australia was special. because it was to be again. A tennis rebirth.