Australian Open—Melbourne, Australia
No. 17 seed Roger Federer capped off a memorable fortnight at the Australian Open on Sunday, defeating long-time rival Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to win his 18th Major title. Needing three hours and 37 minutes to complete his victory, Federer struck 20 aces, hit 73 winners and broke serve on six occasions.
After winning the first set in comfortable fashion, Federer quickly fell behind 0-4 in set two before rebounding to win the third set. With the title in his sights, Federer saw an impressive surge by Nadal to force a fifth set. However, losing his serve immediately to fall behind in the final set didn’t bode well for the Swiss’ chances.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Federer broke serve to tie the set at 3-all and then reeled off three straight games to seal the title. Winning his fifth Australian Open, Federer’s improbable run saw him return to action after a six month injury layoff. Cementing himself as the best men’s player ever, Federer will now set his sights on a promising 2017 season.
Nadal, who was also returning to action after a left wrist injury, was adamant on winning his 15th Grand Slam crown. The Spanish legend picked up 1200 points during the tournament after losing in the first-round in 2016.
Federer also holds seven Wimbledon titles, five US Open crowns and one French Open trophy.