MELBOURNE, January 28, 2018
Roger Federer claimed his sixth Australian Open title being joint-top on the list for most men’s singles titles in Melbourne, ahead of Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson. The 36-year-old Swiss defeated No. 6 seed Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in Sunday’s final
Under the closed roof on Rod Laver Arena due to extreme heat policy, Federer dominated right from the beginning, losing just one point on serve, to clinch the opening set in only 24 minutes.
Cilic was getting more confident in the following and took the second set tie-break 7-5 to level the score. It was Federer’s first and only loss of set during the fortnight.
The Swiss broke in the sixth game of the third set and an ace out wide completed a love service hold for Federer. It took 29 minutes for the World No. 2 to regain a control on proceedings.
After being 1-3 down in the fourth set, Cilic won five games in a row to put the match the distance. The Croatian played some of his best tennis but Federer upped the ante in the decider to prove too strong. The Swiss maestro sealed victory in three hours and three minutes.
“I’m so happy, it’s unbelievable,” said an emotional Federer. “It’s been a long time waiting for this final. It’s easier in the afternoon, but when it’s at night you think about it all day. I’m happy it’s over now. It’s a dream come true and the fairy-tale continues. After the year I had last year, it’s incredible.”
At 36 years 173 days, Federer becomes the third man in the Open Era to win four or more Grand Slam titles after turning 30, following Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall, who both won four major titles after their 30th birthdays
ATP Rankings Update…
Rafael Nadal ensured he would remain as No. 1 when the new ATP rankings are released on Monday by reaching the quarterfinals here. Federer will remain at No. 2, while Cilic has ensured that he will rise to a new career-high ranking of No. 3 by reaching the final.