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February 2, 2004 A day after winning the Australian Open (see picture), Roger Federer, then aged 22, becomes the world number one of mens’ tennis, overtaking Andy Roddick. He would not relinquish this position until August 18, 2008, a record 237 consecutive weeks later. The victory in Melbourne was his second Grand Slam title after Wimbledon the previous year. In total Federer has 16 Grand Slam titles to his name: four in Australia, five (all consecutive) at the US Open, six at Wimbledon and a precious one at Roland Garros in 2009. Over the course of his career, he has played 100 tournament finals and won 70 of them. As of February 2, 2012 he has won 814 of the 1001 matches he has contested.

Federer was eventually usurped as world number one by Rafael Nadal, although the Swiss did regain top spot for 11 months between July 2009 and June 2010.

Also on February 2: Buenos Aires is founded (1536); the funeral of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland in Windsor Castle (1901); publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922).

Born on February 2: James Joyce (1882), Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (1926), Christie Brinkley (1954), Shakira (1977), Carolina Klüft (1983).

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