Timeless tennis legend, Roger Federer on Sunday won his sixth Australian Open and 20th Grand Slam title with a five-set 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Croatian Marin Cilic.
The Swiss maestro easily took the first set 6-2 in Melbourne but lost the second in the tie-break to the Croatian. Federer took the third set 6-3, only to fluff his 3-2 lead in the fourth set and watch helplessly, amid erratic display and unforced errors, as Cilic took the next four games 6-3.
The defending champion however restored control in the fifth and deciding set, racing to a 4-1 lead. Then he broke Cilic again to have a pivotal 5-1 lead to serve for the championship.
Federer did not make any mistake this time around as he served out the match, winning 6-1, becoming the oldest man, at 36, to win the championship in the Open era. The match was Federer’s 30th Grand Slam final.
Federer, who couldn’t hold back the tears, said courtside, “I’m so happy. It’s unbelievable. The fairytale continues for us, for me. After the great year I had last year, it’s incredible. Marin had another great tournament. Been a long journey but well worthwhile.”
Cilic said, “It’s amazing what Roger does year after year. This could have been the best two weeks of my life, but Roger played great tennis, especially in the fifth set. I hope I’m going to be playing here for many years to come.”
Federer, 36, becomes only the fourth player after Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf to win 20 or more major singles titles.
He also became the first man to win 20 Grand Slam titles. Only three women — Steffi Graf (22), Serena Williams (23), and Margaret Court (24) — have won more.