Roger Federer beats Marin Cilic to win Australian Open 2018

Becomes first man to get 20 Grand Slam Titles

Roger Federer with his sixth AU Open Title.
Roger Federer with his sixth AU Open Title.

Roger Federer, the Swiss legend, successfully defended his Australian Open Title by defeating Croatian Marin Cilic in 5 sets. The final scores were 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 6-1.

The match was played with in Rod Laver Arena with roof closed due to extreme heat. Simona Halep, the women single’s runner up was taken to hospital for 4 hours after the match and was treated for dehydration. May be, that resulted in roof being closed and air-conditioners being used for the men’s final.

Federer becomes the fourth player to win 20 or more Grand Slam titles and first man to do it. He holds record for most US Open, Wimbledon and AU Open titles. He holds the record for most Grand Slam finals as he appeared in his 30th Grand Slam final. With this victory, he has also extended his lead for most Grand Slam titles with the next one being Nadal with 16 titles.

Roger Federer defeated Chung in the semifinals and looked favorite to win the title. The match started with Federer serving in first set. The first set turned out to be quite easy and Cilic lost two games on his server for Federer to get a head start. The Swiss went on to win the first set 6-2. At that point, it looked like another straight sets and easy game for Federer to win.

However, Marin Cilic improved his game in second set and both players strived hard to hold their serves. Eventually, Marin Cilic closed out the set in a tie-breaker with both players having one set each.

The third set started with both keeping their serve. However, Federer then managed to break Cilic in sixth game and then went on to win the set 6-3. Cilic, who had improved the game in second set, was again struck by the excellence and precision of Federer’s strokes.

The fourth set started with Cilic unable to hold his server in very first game. Federer was up 3-1 in fourth set and it looked like all was gone for Cilic. However, another unexpected turn of events occurred where Federer lost 5 games on a trot. There was an imminent change in Cilic’s energy, his fists were pumped, and he had taken the game to fifth set.

The fifth set was never going to be easy for a 36 year old. The Federer fans were nervous, even Federer would have been nervous about the last set. Federer took a small timeout for change before fifth set, and returned quickly to the court. Federer started the serve in final set and managed to hold. A couple of close calls in second game allowed Federer to break and from there onwards, it was all easy for the world no. 2 as he managed to dominate the final set and win it with a score of 6-1.

Match Stats:

AU Open 2018 Final Stats.
AU Open 2018 Final Stats. Credits: BBC

The Swiss has now got 20 Grand Slams. Federer is arguably the most complete tennis player of Open Era having won the highest number of grand slams. In Australian Open, he is now tie with Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson for the record of most Australian Open titles. He has managed to win six Australian Open titles.

Apart from that, he has the most number of Wimbledon titles i.e 8 and he also holds the record for joint most US Open titles with 5 in his bag.

As Federer managed to defend the title, he is now just 155 points behind Rafael Nadal for becoming the oldest player to number 1 rankings. On the other hand, Cilic will be the new number 3 player in the world once the rankings are updated on Monday.

Marin Cilic during the post-match conversation said.

“Big congratulations to Roger and his team. It’s amazing what you do year after year. All the best for 2018. It was an amazing journey for me to come to the final. Today was a tough match. I had a slight chance at the start of the fifth set. But Roger played an unbelievable fifth set.”

Federer was all in tears after the match just like the last year as the last 13 months have almost been like a fairytale for him. He has now managed to win 3 Grand Slams in last 13 months and that too at an age of 35+.

“I’m so happy,” he beams. “Winning is an absolute dream come true. The fairytale continues for us, for me. After the great year I had last year, it’s incredible. I’d like to thank Marin, another great tournament. World No3, that’s a hell of an achievement.”

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