While turning over the pages of history, you are almost sure to pause and gasp when the letters of the word 'Roger Federer' rise and float in front of your eyes.
Roger Federer has been to tennis what Bob Dylan has been to the world of literature and music. His racquet has long stood by him and been a faithful ally, weaving magic on the court.
When Federer is not busy charming fans with his prowess over five languages, he lets his balletic performance on the court evoke poetry in their minds.
Federer has been vanquishing records from the very beginning of his career. There are only a few players who can match the overall excellence of the Swiss Maestro. He has waltzed across the court and hit the perfect drop-shots and served aces without a flinch.
In 2018, Federer is still one of those players who keep reminding us that sports doesn't always need to be about technicalities or a constant pursuit of records and numbers.
Sometimes, it needs to be played from the heart. Sometimes, you need to let your racquet dictate your path. Sometimes, you need to pause and hear the poetry, feel the rhythm as you glide across the court.
From spending an enviable 310 weeks at the top spot to being the oldest No. 1 player ever, the 37-year-old Federer is an inspiration to the old and the new alike.
The following is a look back at Federer's journey - right from the very beginning. As we continue to marvel at the genius of the man, some 15 years after a boy with blonde-auburn curls lifted his first Grand Slam, we are bound to get goosebumps when we reminisce how he transformed himself into the Greatest Of All Time. The complete list of Grand Slams by Roger Federer
Let's start at the very beginning!
#1 Wimbledon 2003
Roger Federer v Mark Phillippoussis
At just 21 years of age, the Swiss learnt to taste the sweet flavor of victory when his impeccable skills helped him to cause a major upset in the semifinals of Wimbledon 2003. Federer ousted the American great Andy Roddick in a stiff battle to win the biggest match of his career until then.
He was then ushered into the final to meet with unseeded Australian Mark Phillippoussis. Tucking in those flowing locks of hair neatly behind his ears, Federer established his dominance over the Aussie in 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(3) win to claim his first ever Grand Slam title.
#2 Australian Open 2004
Roger Federer v Marat Safin
With talent bursting through his veins, Federer embarked on creating one of the most memorable years in tennis in 2004 when he won the January-end Australian Open.
On the other side of the net was Marat Safin, who offered firm resistance to Federer's attempt to win his first Major hardcourt title. But after a clinical 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-2 display of shot-making, it was Federer who had opened a page in the history books.
#3 Wimbledon 2004
Roger Federer v Andy Roddick
Ensuring that the magic run did not end, Federer went to back to the lawns of the All England Club as the 22-year-old defending champion of the tournament. It was again Andy Roddick at the other side of the net, seeking vengeance for his semifinal defeat the previous year.
Federer and Roddick fought tooth and nail in a classic Wimbledon final which had Federer retaining the Big W crown for the second year in a row. He defeated the American 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(3), 6-4 to lift his third Grand Slam crown.
#4 US Open 2004
Roger Federer v Lleyton Hewitt
Federer made sure that his dominance in the game didn't elicit much debate with another thunderous performance. He became the first player since 1988 to win three Grand Slams in a year when he triumphed over Lleyton Hewitt in a surprisingly one-sided final where the scorecard read 6-0, 7-6, 6-0.
By then, Federer already had four Grand Slams to his name and ATP World No. 1 ranking to boast of.