Roger Federer claims 20th Grand Slam with hard-fought Australian Open win
Roger Federer is a 20-time Grand Slam winner, but he did it the hard way as he needed five sets to see off an inspired Marin Cilic in the Australian Open final.
The Swiss Maestro looked to be cruise control after he went up two sets to one, but Cilic came storming back to take it to a decider only for Federer to find some form again and win 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in three hours and two minutes on Rod Laver Arena.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 28, 2018
The 36-year-old was in charge from the word as he was up 4-0 in the opening set in the blink of an eye, breaking Cilic in the first game of the match and again in the third.
The opening set was over in only 24 minutes.
Although the man from Croatia continued to struggle on his own serve, he gradually grew into the game and started to fashion a few openings. Federer, though, managed to hold firm until the tie-breaker when Cilic produced some of his best tennis to level it at one set each.
Unfortunately for the 2014 US Open champion, he couldn’t replicate that in the third set as Federer claimed the crucial break in the sixth game and then served it out a few games later.
And after breaking his opponent early in the fourth set, it looked like Federer would cruise home, but Cilic came roaring back in the sixth game as he broke to love to level it at 3-3.
Federer was now misfiring and the Croat was simply on another level when he broke again in the eighth game before serving out to make two sets each.
Unfortunately for Cilic, he couldn’t keep it up in the five set as he was broken in the second game and again in the sixth.
Federer was just too good to give up the lead and served it out to claim his 20th Grand Slam title and sixth Australian Open.
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