April 16, 2024
NewsTennis

Roger Federer wins 20th Grand Slam title with Australian Open victory.

Roger Federer wins Australian Open 2018 after defeating Marin Cilic.
Roger Federer kissing the Australian Open trophy. Photo: AAP

On Sunday, under a closed roof in Rod Laver Arena, Roger Federer wins Australian open 2018 which is his sixth Australian Open by holding on to defeat Marin Cilic, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

Federer is the oldest man to win the Australian Open since one of his role models, Ken Rosewall, in 1972. Back then, this event was played on grass in the much more intimate setting of the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, with no retractable roofs in sight.

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The only misleading number there has been about Roger Federer is the one that begins with a 30 and grows every year. Presently it reads that he is 36. That number seems doubtful … although he is Swiss, so of course time should work efficiently for him.

Now Federer has moved to a new threshold of title victories – for men – of 20. Three women – Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf – have all won 20 or more.

Federer has sailed serenely on, inhabiting a cloud that is eternally silver-lined. And he shows no sign of leaving the stage. It is 15 years since he appeared in the first of his 30 grand slam finals, when he beat Mark Philippoussis at Wimbledon. His first Australian triumph arrived the following year. Then came a string of wins that lit up the sporting universe like a blazing sun.

“Everything changes in your life after your first,” he said – as if ordinary people would understand what that was like. “This one reminds me of 2006 against Marcos Baghdatis. I was keeping my composure. And then I was so relieved. I felt the same way tonight. It was terrible.”

He meant terrible to endure, but wonderful to revel in after his last serve was called good. And there to applaud with all the others was the man in whose honour the main stadium here was named, Rod Laver. Lining up his mobile phone, he snapped away from the stands to record the moment Federer raised the Norman Brookes trophy for the sixth – and probably not final – time.

Federer said: “He’s the best. The Rocket. I’m so happy when I see him. It’s because of the legends of this sport that I play tennis. But I didn’t even see that through the tears. I couldn’t lift my head. I was so embarrassed.”

“The fairy tale continues, for us, for me,” Federer said, looking toward his team and his family in the players box and fighting to keep his composure. “After the great year I had last year, it’s incredible.”

Federer wins Australian open 2018

Roger Federer wins Australian Open 2018

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