Roger Federer Wins Australian Open, Defeats Rafael Nadal
BEVERLY HILLS, January 29, (THEWILL) – Roger Federer has defeated Rafael Nadal in five outstanding sets before a rapturous Rod Laver Arena crowd in the Australian Open 2017 final
The 35-year-old Swiss star prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 against the 30-year-old Spaniard, coming from a break down in the fifth set to claim his 18th major title.
“I am out of words but I would like to congratulate Nadal on an amazing comeback,” he said after the match.
“I don't think either of us thought we would be in the finals when we were at your academy five years ago. I would just like to thank my team.
It's been a different last six months. I didn't think I was going to make it here. I would also like to thank Nadal's team, my wife, family and all of you here.”
The win capped a phoenix-like resurrection for the much-loved Swiss, who spent six months of last season out through injury and has gone without a grand slam title since Wimbledon in 2012.
Federer may trail in the head-to-head against Nadal, 6-3 in grand slams and 23-12 overall, but he has pipped him to yet another major title in Melbourne to draw four clear (18-14).
Meanwhile, Serena Williams also defeated her elder sister, Venus, at Australian Open to clinch a record 23rd major title.
Serena received a congratulatory letter and a pair of custom-made shoes from Michael Jordan, the name most synonymous with No. 23 as she won the all-Williams final, the ninth in Grand Slam history and the second in Australia, 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday night.
“This was a tough one,” Serena said.
“I really would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus, she’s an amazing person — she’s my inspiration.
“There’s no way I would be at 23 without her — there’s no way I would be at one without her. Thank you Venus for inspiring me to be the best player I can be and inspiring me to work hard.
“My first Grand Slam started here, and getting to 23 here, but playing Venus, it’s stuff that legends are made of. I couldn’t have written a better story.”
The Williams sisters met for the first time at a major at Melbourne Park in 1998 — Venus won that one. But Venus has been beaten in a major final for the seventh time by her Serena who moved ahead of Steffi Graf for the most major titles in the Open era with her record seventh Australian Open title.
Venus won the last of her seven majors in 2008 at Wimbledon. She didn’t make the second week of a major for a few years as she came to terms with an energy-sapping illness after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011. And she only made it back to the semi-finals last year at Wimbledon.
Asked if it felt awkward to be on the receiving end of so many losses to her sister, the 36-year-old Venus didn’t flinch.
“No, because I guess I’ve been here before,” she said.
“I really enjoy seeing the name Williams on the trophy. This is a beautiful thing.
“That’s exactly where I want to be standing during these Grand Slams, is on finals day, having an opportunity. That’s the highlight of all this, is to be in that moment.
“Serena Williams, that’s my little sister. I have been right there with you. Some of them I have lost right there against you. It’s been an awesome thing, your win has always been my win.”