Roger Federer hits landmark 20th Grand Slam
Roger Federer successfully defended his Australian Open title, collecting a sixth crown in Melbourne which joins Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson for most titles in Melbourne and became the second-oldest winner of the tournament since Ken Rosewall in 1972.
Grand Slams on the other hand Roger Federer is in a league of his own, securing a landmark 20th Grand Slam of his career- being the first man to do so, it’s a mark that could stand for decades. Or longer.
“The fairy-tale continues for us, for me, after a great year I had last year” said the Swiss superstar, who captured the 2017 Men’s Wimbledon title and now the 2018 Australian Open. Sundays match was a re-run of last year’s Wimbledon final, where Federer overcame blistered Marin Cilic 6-3 6-1 6-4 on Centre Court at Wimbledon.
Federer 36, playing his 30th Slam final under Rod Laver Arena roof, was pushed all the way by Marin Cilic but came through a riveting contest 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 6-1 in three hours, Federer was quick off the mark, getting service breaks in the first and third games and forcing Cilic to go to his equipment bag for a new racket after just 12 points. Federer conceded only two points on his serve in the opening set, which lasted just 24 minutes.
But Cilic, the former US Open champion, rallied in the second getting his forehand working and, after missing a set point on Federer’s serve in the 10th game, levelled the match in the tie-breaker. Making it the first set the Swiss had dropped in the tournament.
The Swiss responded in the best possible manner with a clinical break in the sixth game of the third set before quickly wrapping it up with an ace in 29 minutes to move closer to the title. Cilic looked to be heading for defeat when he conjured up his first break of the final to level up at 3-3.
A determined Federer fought off a break point in the first game before he re-established control to stop Cilic in his tracks and race to a 5-1 lead left his serving for the title.
The sixth-seeded Cilic who beat Spain’s Rafael Nadal in the quarter-final, and Britain’s Kyle Edmund in the semi-final had two chances to break Federer’s serve in the first game of the fifth set but wasted them both with two unforced errors. He then double-faulted twice in the second game to drop his own serve, giving Federer the decisive lead in the set. It was a similar end to his five-set win over Nadal last year.
“It was an amazing journey to come to the final, it could have been the best two weeks of my life, but Roger played a great fifth set.” Cilic said.
Federer started to tear up toward the end of the trophy ceremony as he thanks his team in the stands: “I love you guys. Thank you.”