Australian Open: Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal to win 18th Grand Slam title
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Roger Federer has won his fifth Australian Open title and 18th overall major crown, defeating Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 at the Rod Laver Arena here on Sunday. Federer extended his lead over Nadal in the all-time major wins list to four with his first Melbourne Park crown since 2010, and his first major singles title win since Wimbledon 2012, reports ausopen.com.
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The Swiss, who will rise to No.10 in the world with the victory, earned his first win over Nadal in four meetings at the Australian Open, and won just his third major final over the Spaniard in nine attempts. The win snapped a six-match losing streak to Nadal in Grand Slam play. Before Sunday night, Federer's most recent major win over his great rival came in the Wimbledon final of 2007.
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Federer has become the first man in history to win five or more titles at three different Grand Slam events. Federer hit 73 winners, including 20 aces, and won 76 per cent of his first service points for victory in three hours and 37 minutes. Nadal committed 28 unforced errors -- 29 fewer than Federer. The Swiss, who returned this year after a six-month injury lay-off, is now 12-23 in their head to head matches. All-out aggression from Federer proved decisive in the match, his 100th match at the Australian Open.
It was an iconic contest and it deserved five sets as Federer prevailed in three hours and 37 minutes in an electric atmosphere, rallying from a break down in the fifth set to win the last five games. The tears of joy flowed freely for Federer as the electronic eye reviewed his forehand winner on match point, ruling it in. At the age of 35, Federer has made history by winning his 100th Australian Open match, and by becoming the second oldest Grand Slam singles male champion after the Australian Ken Rosewall, who won the 1972 Australian Open at 37.
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Sheer will and hard work saw them both find their best level and rise to the occasion in Melbourne, taking advantage of shock week one defeats for No.2 Novak Djokovic and No.1 Andy Murray to bring about a nostalgic final for tennis enthusiasts. For Nadal, he has come a long way from crying in the car on the way back to the hotel after injury forced him out of the 2016 French Open. The ninth-ranked left-hander is now set to rise to No.6 in the rankings, according to atpworldtour.com.