Australian Open 2017, Day 14, as it happened: Roger Federer defeats Rafael Nadal, wins 18th Grand Slam title

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Australian Open 2017, Day 14, as it happened: Roger Federer defeats Rafael Nadal, wins 18th Grand Slam title
  • 19:11 (IST)

    Thank you so much for following our coverage of the Australian Open!

    It's been a delightful, record-breaking tournament and we have enjoyed every moment of it. Till the next Slam!

  • 19:10 (IST)

    Australian Open 2017 Winners:

    Women's Singles Champion - Serena Williams

    Men's Singles Champion - Roger Federer

    Women's Doubles Champions -  Lucie Safarova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands

    Men's Doubles Champions - Henri Kontinen and John Peers

    Mixed Doubles Champions - Abigail Spears and Juan Sebastian Cabal

    Girls' Singles Champion - Marta Kostyuk

    Boys' Singles Champion - Zsombor Piros

  • 19:05 (IST)

    Before we sign off, here's our parting image of the day! Rafael Nadal, Rod Laver and Roger Federer - three of the biggest legends of the game. A total of 43 Grand Slam titles between them. 

  • 19:00 (IST)

    Set-by-set breakdown of the Australian Open men's final, after Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 on Sunday:

    Set 1 - Federer 6-4, 34 minutes

    In a tense atmosphere at Rod Laver Arena, the final goes with serve until game seven, when a Federer volley sets up two break points and he breaks as Nadal fires a backhand wide. It's all Federer needs to take a one-set lead as he serves it out, sealing the set with an ace.

    Set 2 - Nadal 6-3, 42 minutes

    Nadal puts Federer under pressure in his first service game and his one-handed backhand cracks under the pressure of the Spaniard's heavy forehands, as he nets when facing his second break point. Federer then works two break-back points in Nadal's next service game, but he miscues with his forehand each time. Another forehand error hands Nadal the double break and despite Federer getting a break back, Nadal levels the match on another mistake from the Swiss's forehand.

    Set 3 - Federer 6-1, 41 minutes

    Federer produces three aces to stave off three break points in a 10-minute opening game, and he immediately makes Nadal pay when he breaks him in the next game. Nadal saves more break points at 0-3 down but he is broken again for 1-5 when Federer creams a superb backhand return winner. Federer, when serving for the set, faces down a break point with a service winner before he grabs a 2-1 sets lead with a cool backhand volley.

    Set 4 - Nadal 6-3, 40 minutes

    Nadal comes roaring back and he breaks Federer in game four when the Swiss puts a backhand volley into the net. The Spaniard holds brilliantly in the fourth game when he retrieves a deep Federer backhand and flicks it back for a crosscourt winner that draws applause from his opponent. Federer aces twice to see off another break point and hold for 2-4 down, but the set is Nadal's and he converts the first of three set points to force the decider.

    Set 5 - Federer 6-3, 61 minutes

    Federer returns from a medical time-out and he's immediately broken to go 0-1 down when he sprays a forehand wide. Nadal fights off three break points in the next game and he moves to 2-1 up before Federer has treatment to his right thigh at the changeover. Nadal produces a big backhand winner to survive a break point in game four but Federer breaks back in the sixth when the Spaniard flashes a forehand narrowly wide. At 3-4 down, Nadal bravely saves four break points but on the fifth, Federer's wide, sharply angled backhand return is too much for the Spaniard to get back over the net. Serving for the championship, Federer saves two break points before he finally clinches it on his second match point, despite a despairing Hawk-Eye challenge from Nadal.

  • 18:57 (IST)

  • 18:45 (IST)

    Another record with this win!

  • 18:26 (IST)

    Let's take a look at the stats after the win for Roger Federer!

  • 18:26 (IST)

    The Federers celebrate their big victory 

  • 18:24 (IST)

  • 18:23 (IST)

    Federer and Norman are reunited after 7 years!

  • 18:21 (IST)

  • 18:14 (IST)

  • 18:13 (IST)

  • 18:12 (IST)

  • 18:12 (IST)

    A very gracious Federer after winning the match

  • 18:11 (IST)

    Roger Federer in his speech:

    Tennis is a tough sport. There are no draws in tennis but if there was going to be one, I would have been very happy to accept it tonight.

  • 18:09 (IST)

    The Norman Brookes Challenge Cup!

  • 18:03 (IST)

    The winning moment!

  • 18:01 (IST)

    Nadal at the presentation ceremony:

    Melbourne will always be in my heart. Roger deserved a bit more than me. I will keep trying hard to win the trophy again. 

  • 17:59 (IST)

    Here is what Federer has tweeted at the end of 2016...

    ... And he made it come true in 29 days!

  • 17:59 (IST)

  • 17:55 (IST)

  • 17:51 (IST)

  • 17:50 (IST)

    Roger Federer defeats Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to win his 18th Grand Slam title!

  • 17:47 (IST)

    Federer wins!

    Federer goes down two break points on his serve.

    Saves one with an ace. 

    Saves the 2nd with a massive inside-out forehand winner. 

    DEUCE. 

    Another big serve and it's Championship Point. 

    Federer sends his forehand long and it's DEUCE again. 

    ACE and it's CHAMPIONSHIP POINT again.

    Federer had the whole court to himself and he sends a forehand winner that just clipped the line. 

  • 17:41 (IST)

  • 17:41 (IST)

    Roger Federer is serving for his 18th Grand Slam title at 5-3 in the fifth set.

  • 17:40 (IST)

    Federer breaks for 5-3

    Nadal goes down 0-30 on his serve after two unforced errors. 

    Nadal throws in a double fault to hand Federer three BREAK POINTS.

    Nadal saves one with a powerful forehand winner.

    Makes a solid serve on the next, and Federer sends it out long. 

    Second serve on the third break point and Federer can't keep it in play. Deuce. 

    THE BEST POINT OF THE MATCH ON THE NEXT POINT! 26-SHOT RALLY that Federer wins with a zipping forehand down the line. Advantage Federer.

    After two more points. Federer finally breaks!

  • 17:32 (IST)

    Even Rod Laver was pumped after that game!

  • 17:30 (IST)

    Federer holds for 4-3

    Love-hold from Federer and suddenly he is ahead 4-3 in the 5th set. The crowd has erupted after those two games. 

  • 17:28 (IST)

    Federer breaks back to make it 3-3

    Federer starts the game with a backhand winner after the longest rally of the match. (18 shots). 0-15.

    He stays strong on his forehand on the next point and gets an errors from Nadal. 0-30.

    Nadal sends a deep return and Federer shanks it back. 15-30. 

    Nadal with a good serve out wide, gets the short reply and finishes off with a forehand at the net. 30-30.

    Nadal sends a forehand long on his next point, challenges the linesman's call and Hawk-Eye shows it was out. 30-40. Break point opportunity for Federer. 

    Nadal saves it with another great 1-2 combination - great serve, short return, and then winner down the line. Deuce.

    Federer dumps his return into the net and it's advantage Nadal. 

    Deuce once again as Nadal's forehand clips the net and falls wide. 

    Federer comes up with a stunning backhand winner to take advantage! Second break point!

    Nadal finally sends a forehand long and it's back on serve! 

    Federer needed SIX BREAK POINTS in this set to break back. 3-3.

  • 17:19 (IST)

    An easy service hold for Federer and he makes it 3-2. Still trails by a break in the final set of the men's singles final. 

  • 17:17 (IST)

    So this happened...

  • 17:15 (IST)

    Another crucial hold from Nadal

    Deuce once again on Nadal's serve. 

    Federer has a window of opportunity again. Can he take it? 

    Break point for Federer but Nadal comes up with a smashing forehand that Federer can't control on return. Deuce. 

    Advantage Nadal after Federer sends his forehand approach long. 

    Nadal holds for 3-1.

  • 17:11 (IST)

    The world is captivated by this match! Two legends slugging it out in the 5th set.

  • 17:10 (IST)

    Nadal is seeking to become the second man in the Open era to win the Australian Open final from two sets to one down (Wilander, 1988).

  • 17:08 (IST)

    Federer makes it 1-2

    Federer with a love-hold and then calls for the trainer. 

    He gets his right thigh massaged on the court and has a long chat with the physio. 

  • 17:05 (IST)

    Nadal consolidates his break for 2-0

    15-40 and it's Two BREAK POINTS for Federer. 

    Nadal saves one break point as Federer puts a backhand return into the net. One more left. 

    Nadal saves the second with a beast of a forehand winner. Deuce. 

    Lukcy let cord for Federer and he gets a third break point. The ball gently kissed the net and then dropped on the other side.

    Nadal makes it deuce again after two huge forehands! 

    Another BLISTERING forehand down the line from Nadal and he wins the advantage. 

    Nadal holds for a 2-0 lead.

  • 17:00 (IST)

    Federer broken in the very first game

    Nadal creates two break points and converts on the second to take the lead early in the 5th set. 

  • 16:57 (IST)

    The stats from the match after Nadal won the 4th set

  • 16:54 (IST)

    While Federer was getting treated, Nadal waited restlessly. 

  • 16:50 (IST)

    Federer takes a medical timeout at the end of teh 4th set, goes off court for examination nd treatment.

  • 16:49 (IST)

  • 16:47 (IST)

    After 2 hours 37 minutes we're going to five, as Rafael Nadal wins the 4th set 6-3.

  • 16:46 (IST)

    Nadal wins 4th set 6-3

    Federer changes his racquet to return Nadal's serve but can't return the first three points - one into the net, one way out and the third was a really good serve from Nadal.

    THREE SET POINTS for Nadal. 

    Federer nets a backhand and it's two sets-all. The match is going into the decider!

  • 16:43 (IST)

    Federer makes it 4-5

    Federer can't win two points in a row on his service. 

    Game goes to deuce, Federer slides a serve out wide for advantage. 

    Nadal finally sends a return long and Federer holds. 

    Nadal will now serve for the 4th set at 5-4. 

  • 16:40 (IST)

    Super quick service hold from Nadal! 

    Nadal holds to love to edge ahead 5-2. He is just one game away from forcing a deciding set in this final. 

    Federer to serve to stay alive in the 4th. 

  • 16:38 (IST)

  • 16:37 (IST)

    Federer holds for 2-4

    Roger serves four aces, saves a break point and holds for 4-2. Crucial game for The Swiss to stay in touch in this set. Still trails by just one break in the 4th.

  • 16:34 (IST)

    HERE'S THAT INSANE POINT!

Preview: Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal take to Rod Laver Arena to reprise one of the great sporting rivalries of the modern age on Sunday, a fitting climax to an Australian Open which has sent tennis back to the future.

After the thirtysomething Williams sisters play their own throwback final on Saturday, Federer and Nadal will meet in a grand slam final for the first time in more than five years.

Their ninth meeting in a grand slam final is all the sweeter for being so unexpected.

Last October, as both men have recalled this week, Federer travelled to Mallorca for the opening of his friend's new tennis academy.

The Swiss was on "one leg" after knee surgery and the Spaniard still hampered by the wrist injury that wrecked his 2016 season.

"At that moment, for sure we never thought that we had the chance to be in a final again, and especially in the first of the year," recalled Nadal.

"Both of us I think worked very hard to be where we are. It's great that we are again in a moment like this."

As Nadal and Federer arrived at Melbourne Park as ninth and 17th seeds, therefore, the first drafts of the obituaries of two great sporting careers were being prepared.

They were hurriedly dropped back into the files, however, as it became apparent the duo were playing vintage tennis: Federer all fluidity and peerless shot-making, Nadal at his brutal best from the baseline.

The early departures of reigning champion Novak Djokovic and top seed Andy Murray, the players who had joined Federer and Nadal to make up the "Big Four", then opened up the path to a grand final reunion.

Although it has often felt more like 2007 than 2017 at Melbourne Park this week, even great champions are not immune to the ravages of time.

At 35, Swiss Federer is the oldest men's grand slam finalist since Ken Rosewall lost the US Open final in 1974 at the age of 39.

Nadal might be five years younger but has been on tour since his late teens and the effort required for his attritional playing style puts tremendous strain on his body.

And while Federer has been able to rest up after his three-hour semi-final victory over Stan Wawrinka on Thursday, Nadal must recuperate as best he can after his epic five-hour victory over Grigor Dimitrov on Friday.

"That's what I'm going to try," the 14-times grand slam champion said. "I did it in 2009. I am seven, eight years older."

That five-set 2009 victory over Federer earned Nadal his sole Australian Open crown and another would make him the only man in the open era apart from Roy Emerson to have won all four grand slams twice.

Federer has four Australian Open titles but just a single French Open crown, his path to Roland Garros glory more often than not blocked by Nadal.

Immediately after his semi-final, as he was finally able to ponder meeting his great rival, the 17-times grand slam champion suggested his 11-23 record against Nadal might have been in part due to them meeting on clay so often early in their careers.

Afterwards, in his news conference, he was less candid, noting only that the pace of the Rod Laver Arena this year allowed him to be more aggressive.

"Now it's a different time," he said. "A lot of time has gone by. I know this court allows me to play a certain game against Rafa that I cannot do on centre court at the French Open."

Nadal has a 6-2 edge over Federer in grand slam finals but few are making a call with any confidence over who will win Sunday's contest.

"I just know that two of the greatest players of tennis are going to square off on Sunday, and it's going to be a freakin' amazing match," Dimitrov said on Friday.


Updated Date: Jan 29, 2017 19:51 PM

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