Australian Open 2018: Roger Federer edges Marin Cilic to win 20th grand slam title

Federer - cropped
Roger Federer wins the Australian Open (Getty Photographs)

Roger Federer clinched a 20th grand slam title and document-equalling sixth Australian Open with an exciting 5-set win over Marin Cilic in Melbourne on Sunday.

The Swiss nice was pushed, for arguably the primary time on the event, earlier than sealing a 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-three three-6 6-1 victory beneath a closed Rod Laver Area roof.

Federer’s win, secured in three hours and three minutes, noticed him draw degree with Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic on six Australian Open titles as he defended his crown.

The 20th grand slam title additionally noticed Federer pull additional away from Rafael Nadal (sixteen) atop that listing.

In entrance of an adoring crowd, Federer gave up a break to lose the fourth set, however he steadied to edge previous the preventing Croatian sixth seed in an enthralling decider.

Towards an opponent he had crushed in eight of their earlier 9 conferences – together with in final yr’s Wimbledon ultimate – Federer was all the time a favorite and the 36-yr-previous would certainly have welcomed the sight of a closed roof on a scorching scorching day.

As an alternative, it was maybe Cilic’s nerves – and his wayward backhand – benefiting Federer probably the most early on.

Cilic narrowly escaped a break level thanks to a problem earlier than Federer was handed the right begin, the Croatian framing an overhead into the web to surrender his serve.

It was, at greatest, a nervous begin by Cilic in his third grand slam last, as quite a few errors gave Federer a three-zero lead, a bonus the Swiss nice was by no means going to hand over.

Cilic settled because the opening set went on and he made his opponent work early within the second, Federer fired up after saving a second break level with a forehand winner.

Federer continued to push towards the Cilic serve, forcing the 2014 US Open winner into robust holds within the third, fifth and ninth video games, a gutsy second-serve ace serving to in the course of the latter.

These gritty holds helped current Cilic a set level within the tenth recreation, however he tamely despatched a backhand into the web.

Nevertheless, Cilic recovered from a mini-break down within the tie-break as his forehand got here up massive, winners off that aspect seeing him to three-three and 6-four earlier than he sealed the set with an overhead.

Federer landed the primary blow of the third set, breaking to 15 within the sixth recreation when Cilic despatched a forehand extensive, earlier than he closed it out.

It appeared Federer would cruise to victory when he broke to open the fourth, however Cilic responded, breaking to love within the sixth recreation and taking a 5-three lead with one other forehand winner on his method to forcing a decider.

Federer, aided by an more and more vocal crowd, had to save two break factors to begin the fifth set, out of the blue needing a momentum shift having appeared in management earlier.

That arrived within the second recreation, a double fault and Cilic forehand into the web giving him the break, one he would construct on to see out one other historic win.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN  
Federer [2] bt Cilic [6] 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-three three-6 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS  
Federer – forty one/forty
Cilic – forty five/sixty four

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS  
Federer – 24/four
Cilic – sixteen/5

BREAK POINTS WON  
Federer – 6/thirteen
Cilic – 2/9

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE  
Federer – fifty seven
Cilic – sixty eight

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE  
Federer – seventy nine/fifty eight
Cilic – sixty nine/50

TOTAL POINTS  
Federer – 152
Cilic – 128