At 36 years of age and with an emotional finish, Roger Federer manged to claim his sixth Australian Open (AO) title matching the record held jointly by Novak Djokovic and Australian great Roy Emerson for most AO titles held in the men’s singles.
As if foreshadowing the end result, Federer took the advantage against a nervous Marin Cilic dispatching the first set within 24 minutes.
Yet not to be completely outdone, Cilic fought back forcing Federer to drop two sets - his only ones for the entire tournament - sprawling the match to a full five-set battle, much to the favour of the crowd.
Tight battles on the base-line were far and few in between as both players seemed intent on ending points early. Whether as a result of the heat or a mutual respect for the others rally game, this approach produced stunning winners on both sides of the court.
Largely backed by the crowd, Federer picked up from his fourth set loss breaking not a drop of sweat, but rather Cilic’s serve. Allowing the Croatian only one game in the entire set.
“I‘m so happy , it’s unbelievable, it’s been a long day,” Federer said. “I‘m happy it’s over now. The fairytale continues for us, for me, it’s incredible,” said an emotional Federer as he cradled the Norman Brookes trophy.
With a final result of 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 6-3, 3-6 and 6-1, Federer wrapped up his 20th Grand Slam title looking ahead at more to come.
Long live the Rog’.