February 19, 2018

Federer fights off Cilic to win sixth Australian Open

29 January 2018, 01:31 | Randolph Howard

GETTYRafael Nadal is renowned for his huge arms

GETTYRafael Nadal is renowned for his huge arms

Federer also becomes the only men's player to win three different major titles at least five times (Wimbledon, Australian, U.S. Open) and two different major titles at least six times (Wimbledon, Australian Open).

Just when many people thought his Grand Slam-winning days were behind him having not won a major title since Wimbledon in 2012, Federer has now reeled off another three since his 35th birthday.

Rod Laver Arena - with its roof closed, to some controversy - was treated to a dramatic occasion as the No. 2 seed secured his sixth Australian Open title, drawing level with the record set by Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic. "I'm feeling really excited about the final".

Federer began the fifth set with what could have been a crucial mistake: failing to challenge a call that would have ended the first game in his favor.

Federer is already the oldest-ever Wimbledon champion at 35, a title he took past year.

Despite failing to take a set point opportunity when leading 4-5 in the second set, Cilic pounced in the tie-break with a superb forehand victor to bring up two set points at 6-4.

Despite the anti-climax, he said it was great experience and he was "really honoured" to be on the same court as Federer.

The two players were on serve until the sixth game when Cilic made a couple unforced errors to give Federer triple break point.

Largely untroubled all fortnight, Federer is the oldest Australian Open champion in 46 years after defending the title he won so spectacularly in 2017 following six months out of the game.

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"This one here tonight reminded me more of maybe 2006 win when I beat (Marcos) Baghdatis in the finals".

Marin Cilic will be looking to upset both the odds and the world of tennis when he faces Roger Federer in the Australian Open final tomorrow.

Cilic, who will rise to a career-high three in the rankings, won four points in the first four games, but despite a shamelessly pro-Federer crowd, he stuck to his guns.

In 20 years at the top, Federer has seen plenty of players come and go and only had praise for the youngster.

Cilic however tamely sent a routine backhand - the backhand is traditionally his stronger side - into the net.

Chung, now 58th in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings, defeated top-class tennis players to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open, becoming the first South Korean ever to reach the last four in a Grand Slam event. Cilic broke again with a scintillating crosscourt forehand for 5-3 and served it to take the match to a decider, winning five games in a row.

The momentum was thus with Federer in the tiebreak but Cilic overturned a mini-break deficit at 4-3 to level proceedings at a set apiece.

Australian Open final between Federer and Cilic in the men's final can be streamed online on SonyLIV. Federer dropped just two points on his serve in the set.

He threatened to blow 29-year-old Cilic off the court in a first set that sped by in 24 minutes.

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