Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal in five thrilling sets on Sunday in the Australian Open final to clinch the 18th Grand Slam title of his career.
Federer, 35, prevailed 6–4, 3–6, 6–1, 3–6, 6–3 to win his first title in Melbourne since 2010 and first major since Wimbledon in 2012.
With this win, Federer became the first man in the Open era to win three Grand Slam titles at least five times (seven at Wimbledon, five US Opens, five Australian Opens and one French Open).
In the fifth and deciding set, Nadal was the one to break first and took a 3-1 lead, but Federer soon pegged him back to even the set at 3-3. Serving at 3-4, Nadal committed two forehand errors, followed by a double fault to fall behind 0-40. The Spaniard temporarily climbed out of the hole to get back to deuce.
And this is when we witnessed a stunning 26-shot rally that deserves to be called the best point of the Championship match.
Nadal hit a powerful backhand down the line that had Federer scrambling at full stretch. The Swiss managed to get back into the point with some amazing defence, and then the two got into a duel of hammering forehands. Federer hit at least five shots - one that was a sensational cross court zipping backhand - that could have easily won him the point, but it was ultimately a peach of forehand down the line that helped Federer win it and earn yet another break point.
The Spaniard eventually saved the point with a massive serve down the middle, but Federer produced another inspired forehand to earn a fifth break point opportunity. This time, he returned brilliantly with a low cross court backhand that forced Nadal to spank a forehand into the net post. The 35-year-old secured the all-important break and then served out the title, winning the set 6-3.
The point itself didn't get Federer the break, or the trophy but it was one of the most crucial ones of the match. Not only did it help put even more pressure on Nadal's serve, it was one of those wondrous shots that stay in memory long after a match has ended.
Watch some of the other highlights form the historical match below.
Published Date: Jan 30, 2017 12:07 PM | Updated Date: Jan 30, 2017 12:07 PM