Upcoming

The best option for people wanting to play regular competitive Tennis is to sign on for Fixtures (...
The UQ Tennis Club's 2018 Tournament Program kicks off with the Sizzling Summer Night Tournament...

ATP news

Syndicate content
Headline News - powered by FeedBurner
Updated: 2 weeks 1 day ago

Belief, Hewitt's Advice, Propel De Minaur To Early Success

Tue, 30/01/2018 - 7:25am

He has the same “I-can-win-any-match” attitude. He pounds his chest with similar enthusiasm after big wins, and Alex de Minaur's tennis still thrives best when saturated with emotion.

But the 18-year-old Aussie, who, for the second year in a row, delighted his home fans during the Australian summer, believes he's a different player than he was in 2017, when he earned his first tour-level wins in January.

De Minaur is stronger – physically and mentally – than he was 12 months ago, and he carries with him the experiences of his first full season as a professional tennis player, a year that saw him start strong in his home country but not win another tour-level match after January.

“I think it's more of just believing in myself. I have been bringing out this level but just not sustaining it. Now I have seemed to find my way and am sustaining it and playing a lot of good matches in a row,” said de Minaur, who started 2018 7-3 in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

“It's all about maintaining that. At the end of the day, I'm just going to get out there and on court, give it my all, and that's what I want to do every day. That's what I want to be known for, and that's what I want other players to know about me, that I'm never going to give up.”

The 18-year-old has convinced a continent of that. He checked off a trifecta of accomplishments last year in Australia that can take years for some players to achieve. De Minaur qualified for his first tour-level tournament (Brisbane International presented by Suncorp); he earned his first tour-level win (Sydney International, d. Paire); and at his home Grand Slam, the Australian Open, he celebrated his maiden Slam victory (d. Gerald Melzer).

This year, while facing the pressure of trying to back up those results, de Minaur improved at almost every tournament. The 5'11” right-hander made the semi-finals in Brisbane, beating two-time ATP World Tour titlist Steve Johnson before sweeping former World No. 3 Milos Raonic, the 2016 Brisbane champion (d. Federer). In Sydney, de Minaur played for his first ATP World Tour title, falling to Russian Daniil Medvedev in three sets.

Read More: With Hewitt By His Side, #NextGenATP de Minaur Is Full Of Confidence

“It's great to see that I've got the level to beat these guys, and make back-to-back great results. That's something I was really trying to work on from last year, and to be more consistent, and I felt like I proved myself there in that aspect these two weeks,” he said.

A countryman who knows everything about belief and self-confidence has aided de Minaur's maturation. Former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt has been a steady voice for de Minaur, helping the teenager navigate day-to-day life on the ATP World Tour.

“He's obviously been through everything that tennis has to offer, so he knows how to deal with so many different scenarios... how to deal with expectations and pressures and, just playing big guys. It's all there. He gives me a lot of advice, and the only thing I do is take it all in,” de Minaur said.

The Aussie also credited his coach, Adolfo Gutierrez. The two train together in Alicante, Spain, where de Minaur views every practice as a chance to improve his evolving game. “Every day is another chance to get better,” he said.

If the Sydney native can keep improving, he will find himself among the ATP World Tour's elite 21-and-under players at the end of the season. De Minaur, with 240 points, is currently second in the ATP Race To Milan, which will determine seven of the eight players who compete at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. Last year's champion, Hyeon Chung of South Korea, just reached the semi-finals at the 2018 Australian Open (ret. v. Federer).

See Who's Leading The ATP Race To Milan

“It's still very early but I'm just focusing match by match, point by point. I don't really want to get too ahead of myself,” de Minaur said.

“It's all about me believing... I think that's finally happening and I'm very proud of even all the work I'm doing off court as well. That's, I think, really helping me on court and you can see the results now.”

Two-Time Tour-Level Finalist Falla Retires

Tue, 30/01/2018 - 5:33am

This month has been a contrast of sorts for Colombian tennis. 

While Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah reached their first Grand Slam final as a team by defeating Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6(1), 7-5 at the Australian Open, their countryman, Alejandro Falla, announced his retirement after 18 years as a professional.

"So many emotions are going through my head right now," the 34-year-old said during a press conference in Bogota. "From memories of the sacrifices I made when I was a kid, to the immense happiness I get because I fulfilled dreams that seemed impossible to achieve, I'm proud to have followed this path, one of discipline. But now the time has come to move on to the next stage of my life."

Falla, who turned professional in 2000, ends his ATP World Tour career with a tour-level record of 114-169. The left-hander reached two ATP World Tour finals — at 2013 Bogota (l. to Karlovic) and 2014 Halle (l. to Federer). He played in 34 Grand Slam championship main draws, advancing to the fourth round at Roland Garros in 2011, the third round at Wimbledon in 2012 and the third round of the Australian Open in both 2010 and 2012. Falla also claimed 11 ATP Challenger Tour titles and reached a career high of No. 48 in the ATP Rankings in July 2012.

Falla also proved his level against some of the best players on the ATP World Tour, earning four Top 10 victories throughout his career. The lefty holds wins over Nikolay Davydenko (No. 6), Mardy Fish (No. 8), Tommy Haas (No. 9) and John Isner (No. 10). Falla gave Roger Federer a serious scare in June 2010 at Wimbledon, when the Colombian came within a game of upsetting the defending champion at 7-5, 6-4, 5-4 before succumbing to the Swiss in five sets.

Falla's compatriot, Cabal, praised his countryman for his accomplishments and for what he did for tennis in Colombia.

"After Mauricio Hadad (No. 78 in 1995) and Miguel Tobon (No. 205 in 1996) there was a gap [in Colombian tennis]," Cabal said. "Falla emerged first, and set a great example for the rest of us. [Santiago] Giraldo, [Alejandro] Gonzalez, the bunch of us, we all pushed through with hard work and patience."

Watch Free Live Stream Of Nishikori's Dallas Opener

Tue, 30/01/2018 - 4:41am
.videoWrapper { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; /* 16:9 */ padding-top: 25px; height: 0; } .videoWrapper iframe { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

The comeback continues! Kei Nishikori looks to build momentum in his return to professional tennis at this week's RBC Tennis Championships of Dallas, a $125,000 event on the ATP Challenger Tour.

The Japanese star, who just 10 months ago ascended to a career-high World No. 4 in the ATP Rankings, is seeking his first win of the year as he makes his return from injury. It will be deja vu for Nishikori, who drew American Dennis Novikov as his first-round opponent in Dallas. Novikov prevailed in the top seed's comeback debut last week in Newport Beach, California.

[ALSO LIKE]

Should Nishikori advance, he will face either Germany's Matthias Bachinger or a qualifier in the second round. Big-hitting #NextGenATP Reilly Opelka looms large as potential quarter-final opponent, with fourth seed Bjorn Fratangelo and fifth seed Alexander Bublik also in his half of the draw.

Want to catch Nishikori throughout the week in Dallas? We've got you covered. There's no need to hop on a plane for the heart of Texas. You can watch every moment with our free live streaming of the ATP Challenger Tour below and on ATPChallengerTour.com.

Federer Strengthens 'Big Titles' Lead With Slam No. 20

Tue, 30/01/2018 - 1:15am
.videoWrapper { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; /* 16:9 */ padding-top: 25px; height: 0; } .videoWrapper iframe { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

You can pick and choose your favourite Roger Federer number – 20 Grand Slam titles, six Australian Open crowns, 36 years old – but they're all reaching the stage of indescribable.

Another example: 53, his tally of “Big Titles” after earning back-to-back Australian Open crowns on Sunday for only the second time in his career (2006-07). In addition to his 20 Grand Slams, Federer's Hall-of-Fame career has also featured six Nitto ATP Finals titles and 27 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns.

[ALSO LIKE]

But his 20th major title was especially sweet, Federer admitted after beating Croatia's Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 to improve to 9-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. “Getting to 20 is obviously very, very special, no doubt,” he said.

It seems like a decade ago, not 14 months, when Federer was in the midst of his biggest Grand Slam title slump. From January 2010 to December 2016, Federer had won only two Grand Slam titles – 2010 Australian Open and 2012 Wimbledon. Not since before 2003 Wimbledon, when he won his first Grand Slam title, had Federer endured such a stretch.

Current and Former Champions' Big Titles Won (Records Since 1990) 

Player

Grand Slams

Nitto ATP Finals

1000s

Total (Avg)

Roger Federer

20/72

6/15

27/127

53/214 (4.0)

Novak Djokovic

12/52

5/10

30/98

47/160 (3.4)

Rafael Nadal

16/51

0/8

30/107

46/164 (3.6)

Pete Sampras

14/52

5/11

11/83

30/146 (4.9)

Andre Agassi

8/61

1/13

17/90

26/164 (6.3)

Andy Murray

3/46

1/8

14/96

18/148 (8.2)

Boris Becker*

2/26

2/6

5/51

9/83 (9.2)

Thomas Muster

1/29

0/4

8/53

9/86 (9.6)

Gustavo Kuerten

3/33

1/3

5/67

9/103 (11.4)

Jim Courier

4/38

0/4

5/71

9/113 (12.6)

Stefan Edberg**

3/28

0/4

1/24

4/56 (14)

Marcelo Rios

0/26

0/1

5/56

5/83 (16.6)

Michael Chang

1/50

0/6

7/86

8/142 (17.8)

Marat Safin

2/41

0/3

5/87

7/131 (18.7)

Andy Roddick

1/46

0/6

5/75

6/127 (21.2)

 * Becker's four other Grand Slam titles came before 1990.
** Edberg's three other Grand Slam titles came before 1990.  

Toss in his knee surgery and his six months away from the sport in the second half of 2016, and it becomes easier to remember why he and his millions of fans wondered if he would ever kiss another Grand Slam trophy. Yet here Federer is at 36, an age known as “ancient” in tennis a decade ago, having won three of the past five Grand Slam tournaments.

“I can't believe it myself. I just got to keep a good schedule, stay hungry, then maybe good things can happen. Then I don't think age is an issue, per se. It's just a number,” Federer said. “But I need to be very careful in my planning, really decide beforehand what are my goals, what are my priorities. I think that's what's going to dictate how successful I will be.”

Longest Streaks Of Grand Slam Titles By Federer & Rafael Nadal

Length of Streak

Federer's Titles

Nadal's Titles

11 majors

2005-07 Wimb, 2005-07 USO, 2006-07 AO

2005-07 RG

6 majors

2008 USO, 2009 RG, 2009 Wimb

2008 RG, 2008 Wimb, 2009 AO

5 majors

2017 AO, 2017 Wimb, 2018 AO

2017 RG, 2017 USO

4 majors

2010 AO

2010 RG, 2010 Wimb, 2010 USO

Federer's rivals, however, remain close behind the Swiss star in the Big Titles count. Novak Djokovic has 47 Big Titles and leads everyone, including Federer, in his efficiency at the biggest tournaments. Djokovic has played 159 Grand Slams, Nitto ATP Finals and Masters 1000 tournaments, and he's won 47 Big Titles, which means, on average, he hoists a Big Title about every three opportunities (3.4). The Serbian is also tied with Federer and Roy Emerson for the all-time Australian Open titles lead at six.

Most Australian men’s singles titles (all-time)

Player

No. of titles

Roger Federer

6

Novak Djokovic

6

Roy Emerson

6

Andre Agassi

4

Jack Crawford

4

Ken Rosewall

4

Active players in bold

Nadal has also won Big Titles on a more consistent basis than Federer. The Spaniard has contested 161 Grand Slams, Nitto ATP Finals and Masters 1000 tournaments, and has claimed 46 Big Titles (every 3.5 on average).

But Federer said he's not worried about extending any title lead against the current greats – Djokovic and Nadal – or the retired legends, including Emerson and Pete Sampras.

Watch Federer Tribute

“It doesn't matter. It's about living the emotions that I went through tonight again at the trophy ceremony, going through a tough rollercoaster match, five-setter against Cilic, who is a great player, and then getting No. 6 here, No. 20 overall. It's just a very special moment,” Federer said.

“Defending my title from last year, sort of the fairytale continues. That's what stands out for me, maybe not equaling Emerson or Novak. They had their own unbelievable careers. I admire what they're doing and have done with Emo. It's definitely a very special moment in my life again.”

Because, for Federer, during the 200th Grand Slam tournament of the Open Era (since April 1968) and the 50th Australian Open, celebrating his 20th Grand Slam title was good enough.

Federer In Grand Slam Finals

Event

Result

2003 Wimbledon

d. Mark Philippoussis 76(5) 62 76(3)

2004 Australian Open

d. Marat Safin 76(3) 64 62

2004 Wimbledon

d. Andy Roddick 46 75 76(3) 64

2004 US Open

d. Lleyton Hewitt 60 76(3) 60

2005 Wimbledon

d. Andy Roddick 62 76(2) 64

2005 US Open

d. Andre Agassi 63 26 76(1) 61

2006 Australian Open

d. Marcos Baghdatis 57 75 60 62

2006 Roland Garros

l. Rafael Nadal 16 61 64 76(4)

2006 Wimbledon

d. Rafael Nadal 60 76(5) 67(2) 63

2006 US Open

d. Andy Roddick 62 46 75 61

2007 Australian Open

d. Fernando Gonzalez 76(2) 64 64

2007 Roland Garros

l. Rafael Nadal 63 46 63 64

2007 Wimbledon

d. Rafael Nadal 76(7) 46 76(3) 26 62

2007 US Open

d. Novak Djokovic 76(4) 76(2) 64

2008 Roland Garros

l. Rafael Nadal 61 63 60

2008 Wimbledon

l. Rafael Nadal 64 64 67(5) 67(8) 97

2008 US Open

d. Andy Murray 62 75 62

2009 Australian Open

l. Rafael Nadal 75 36 76(3) 36 62

2009 Roland Garros

d. Robin Soderling 61 76(1) 64

2009 Wimbledon

d. Andy Roddick 57 76(6) 76(5) 36 16-14

2009 US Open

l. Juan Martin del Potro 36 76(5) 46 76(4) 62

2010 Australian Open

d. Andy Murray 63 64 76(11)

2011 Roland Garros

l. Rafael Nadal 75 76(3) 57 61

2012 Wimbledon

d. Andy Murray 46 75 63 64

2014 Wimbledon

l. Novak Djokovic 67(7) 64 76(4) 57 64

2015 Wimbledon

l. Novak Djokovic 76(1) 67(10) 64 63

2015 US Open

l. Novak Djokovic 64 57 64 64

2017 Australian Open

d. Rafael Nadal 64 36 61 36 63

2017 Wimbledon

d. Marin Cilic 63 61 64

2018 Australian Open

d. Marin Cilic 62 67(5) 63 36 61

Chung Rises Into Top 30, Mover Of The Week

Mon, 29/01/2018 - 7:22pm

No. 29 Hyeon Chung, +29
The 21-year-old became the first South Korean player to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam championship. With back-to-back wins at the Australian Open over fourth seed Alexander Zverev and six-time former champion Novak Djokovic, Chung continued his great rise after winning the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in November 2017. He soars 29 places to a career-high No. 29 in the ATP Rankings.

No. 3 Marin Cilic, +3
The Croatian star has moved to a career-high No. 3 after a sensational runner-up finish at the Australian Open. The final appearance was Cilic’s second in six months at Grand Slam level after also finishing runner-up to Roger Federer at The Championships at Wimbledon in July 2017. Cilic overcame World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and Britain’s Kyle Edmund to reach his first final at Melbourne Park. Read & Watch Final Highlights

No. 26 Kyle Edmund, +23
The 23-year-old Briton reached his first Grand Slam semi-final at the Australian Open, after winning five matches in an event for the first time in his career. Edmund beat 2017 US Open runner-up Kevin Anderson in the first round and then-World No. 3 and 2017 Nitto ATP Finals titlist Grigor Dimitrov in a dramatic quarter-final. Edmund rises 23 places to a career-high No. 26. Edmund is now just six places behind Andy Murray, who has been the British No. 1 since 2006.

No. 55 Tennys Sandgren, +42
Tennys Sandgren came into the Australian Open without a win at Grand Slam level, but reached the quarter-finals after four impressive wins. The 26-year-old American had previously played the majority of his tennis on the ATP Challenger Tour, with three titles to his name, before a stunning run that saw him beat three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka and No. 5 seed Dominic Thiem. Sandgren rises 42 places to a career-high of No. 55.

View Latest ATP Rankings

Other Notable Top 100 Moves This Week
No. 14 Nick Kyrgios, +3
No. 16 Tomas Berdych, +4
No. 22 Fabio Fognini, +3
No. 63 Marton Fucsovics, +17
No. 76 Taylor Fritz, +15
No. 80 Nicolas Kicker, +13
No. 82 Maximilian Marterer, +12
No. 85 Vasek Pospisil, +20
No. 96 Nicolas Jarry, +6

Federer: This Year Seems More Surreal

Mon, 29/01/2018 - 2:48pm
Watch Roger Federer discuss his 2018 Australian Open title and his future plans.

Fritz Fires To Fourth Challenger Title

Mon, 29/01/2018 - 1:17pm
.videoWrapper { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; /* 16:9 */ padding-top: 25px; height: 0; } .videoWrapper iframe { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

A LOOK BACK
Oracle Challenger Series Newport Beach (Newport Beach, California, USA): Taylor Fritz couldn't have dreamt of a better start to the year. Just three weeks after kicking off 2018 with a final run at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Noumea, the #NextGenATP American went one step further on Sunday in Newport Beach. Fritz lifted a trophy for the first time in two years, rallying past countryman Bradley Klahn 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 in one hour and 35 minutes.

The 20-year-old is not only up to No. 76 in the ATP Rankings, his highest position in more than a year, but the California native also moves to third in the ATP Race To Milan. On the rise once again, Fritz is targeting a Top 50 breakthrough in 2018.

[ALSO LIKE]

"I have a couple goals. My first goal is to be in the Top 50," Fritz said. "I've been trying to do that for a while now and I think everything is starting to come together. It started coming together at the end of last year. Stay healthy and then long term, once I get to that goal, I really want to get seeded at the Australian Open next year. That’s my ultimate goal for this year.

“[Winning this title] just felt so good. Even though it was 5-0 (in the third set), I wanted it so bad. I was super tense. It’s been so long since I’ve won a title, which made it even more special. It’s been two years since I’ve won a tournament. It means so much for my confidence to get me back on track.”

Open de Rennes (Rennes, France): Second seed Vasek Pospisil claimed his sixth ATP Challenger Tour title on Sunday in Rennes, routing Ricardas Berankis 6-1, 6-2 in 72 minutes. The Canadian has won 10 straight matches on the circuit, dating back to his victory in Busan, South Korea in May 2017. His impressive ATP Rankings ascent continues as well, returning to the Top 100 at No. 85. Pospisil, who stunned then-World No. 1 Andy Murray at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells last year, is trending upwards as he seeks a return to top form.

Vasek Pospisil has his first

Newport Beach Shines In Challenger Return To Southern California

Mon, 29/01/2018 - 9:03am

The state of California has long been a popular destination for tournaments on both the ATP World Tour and ATP Challenger Tour. Take a look around and you'll understand why. From the coastline to the mountains, there is no shortage of stunning scenery and pristine sun-drenched weather is a staple of the region. 

Challenger events in Aptos and Tiburon are established fixtures on the calendar, joined recently by tournaments in Fairfield and Stockton. For many years, however, the iconic BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells has been the lone tournament in Southern California. But that has changed in 2018, with the addition of two $150,000 events as part of the Oracle Challenger Series.

On Sunday, the inaugural tournament in Newport Beach crowned its first champion: California's own Taylor Fritz. Located less than an hour's drive south of downtown Los Angeles, it has marked the return of the circuit to the greater L.A. area - the first since nearby Carson departed the ATP Challenger Tour in 2010.

"It’s nice playing at home because I live close to here," Fritz, who lives 50 minutes from the Newport Beach Tennis Club, told ATPWorldTour.com. "It's a close drive to home and I’m just used to it I guess. I’m used to the weather and it feels like I’m playing with the home-court advantage. 

"My family hasn't traveled with me much lately, just because it’s tough traveling with our baby, but it’s really nice having a tournament close to home because then everyone can come support me. It also helps me on the court having them there. They’re driving back and forth each day. I hope this tournament is going to get better and better every year."

Your Men’s Singles Champion, @Taylor_Fritz97. He defeated Bradley Klahn 36 75 60 to win the first ever Oracle Challenger Series singles title. pic.twitter.com/ARdgOYRmzH

— Oracle Challenger Series (@OracleChallngrs) January 28, 2018

Fritz has taken the lead in the Oracle Challenger Series standings, with the two top combined performers at the ATP Challenger Tour events in Newport Beach and Indian Wells earning main draw wild cards into the BNP Paribas Open, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event. 

"We're very excited," said Indian Wells tournament director and former World No. 2 Tommy Haas. "When you have an opportunity to play at an event where the weather is ideal and you can play close to home as an American, it's perfect. From a professional point of view, you come here to try to get points and raise your ATP Ranking. That is, so you can then play the 250s, 500s and Masters 1000s and then the Grand Slams. Being here for the first time myself, with this great facility, it is something very special for the players."

Tournament director Christian Coleman admits they toured 20 different tennis facilities in the area and eventually decided on the Newport Beach Tennis Club, established in 1966.

"It's a great facility and close to the entertainment for the players here in Orange County," added Coleman. "A lot of boxes were checked when we came out here. Look at how close the fans are to the players. They're basically courtside for a world-class tennis event. It's just like Indian Wells in that sense."

"You also want a tournament atmosphere, which this has," said Haas. "Venues that don't have a clubhouse and the courts are too crammed, doesn't make it as exciting. But this is just incredible here. You look around here and it's a packed house all week. It makes for a great atmosphere and from a players' point of view, that's what you want."

5 Things We Learned At The Aussie Open

Mon, 29/01/2018 - 8:34am
.videoWrapper { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; /* 16:9 */ padding-top: 25px; height: 0; } .videoWrapper iframe { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

(1) Federer Cements Grand Slam Legacy
For many years, winning 20 major titles seemed like an impossible feat. The longevity needed in a player's career and the consistency at such a high level would be nothing short of astonishing. Enter Roger Federer

On Sunday, the Swiss secured an unprecedented 20th Grand Slam trophy with a five-set victory over Marin Cilic, tying Ken Rosewall's record of three major titles won at the age of 35 and over. Moreover, Federer's sixth Australian Open victory pulls him level with Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson atop the all-time titles list Down Under.

Now four major titles clear of Rafael Nadal and six ahead of third-placed Pete Sampras, Federer continues to separate himself from the rest of the pack. After concluding his 2017 campaign at No. 2 in the ATP Rankings, could a return to the top spot be on the horizon? It will be one of the must-see storylines on the ATP World Tour in 2018.

"I'm so happy, it's unbelievable,” said an emotional Federer following the final. "I'm happy it's over now. It's a dream come true and the fairy-tale continues. After the year I had last year, it's incredible."

[ALSO LIKE]

(2) Unseeded Stars Steal The Spotlight
For the first time since 1999, two unseeded players featured in the Australian Open semi-finals. Rising talents Hyeon Chung and Kyle Edmund proved themselves on one of the game's biggest stages, as the 21-year-old Korean and the 23-year-old Brit battled into the last four in Melbourne.

Chung, the champion at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, carried the momentum to 2018 with back-to-back upsets of fourth seed Alexander Zverev and six-time champion Novak Djokovic. Edmund also scored his first Top 10 victory, following up a pair of five-set wins with a stunning triumph over World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals. Both are up to career-highs in the Top 30 and are ones to watch on the ATP World Tour in 2018.

World No. 97 Tennys Sandgren and 80th-ranked Marton Fucsovics also sent shockwaves throughout Melbourne Park in reaching the quarter-finals and Round of 16, respectively. It was their deepest runs at a Grand Slam tournament. Sandgren stunned fifth-seed Dominic Thiem in five thrilling sets, having entered the fortnight with just two tour-level wins in his career. One of the biggest performers on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2017, the American is projected to rise to a career-high of No. 55 after sitting at No. 198 a year ago.

Notable Upsets - 2018 Australian Open

Result Round No. 97 Tennys Sandgren d. No. 5 Dominic Thiem Round of 16 No. 49 Kyle Edmund d. No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov Quarter-finals No. 58 Hyeon Chung d. No. 4 Alexander Zverev
Third Round No. 59 Julien Benneteau d. No. 7 David Goffin Second Round No. 80 Marton Fucsovics d. No. 13 Sam Querrey Second Round No. 78 Matthew Ebden d. No. 16 John Isner First Round No. 97 Tennys Sandgren d. No. 8 Stan Wawrinka Second Round

(3) Cilic Continues Clutch Play On The Big Stages
On Monday, there will be a signficant shift among the Top 5 in the ATP Rankings. Rafael Nadal remains at No. 1, Roger Federer stays at No. 2, but the new World No. 3 will be Marin Cilic. Rising three spots to a new career-high, Croatia's longtime stalwart is peaking at the age of 29.

Cilic has now appeared in a Grand Slam final or lifted an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy in four of the past five years. Champion at the 2014 US Open and 2016 Western & Southern Open and the runner-up at Wimbledon last year, he has cemented himself as a threat to contend for any title.

Cilic dropped just one set in reaching the second week in Melbourne, where he stopped 10th seed Pablo Carreno Busta in four, outlasted top seed Rafael Nadal and dismissed a surging Kyle Edmund. He came up just short of capturing his second major crown, but, having now appeared in two of the past three Grand Slam finals, the big-hitting Croatian has put the rest of the ATP World Tour on notice.

(4) Kyrgios Continues His Climb
For the first time since 2015, top Aussie Nick Kyrgios advanced to the second week of his home Grand Slam. But this was much different. Now, at the age of 22, the Canberra native is greatly maturing with every tournament and he would battle into the Round of 16 behind an impressive and poised performance against former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Kyrgios dropped a gripping four-set encounter against third-seed Grigor Dimitrov under the lights on Rod Laver Arena. The margins were razor thin, as Dimitrov claimed a trio of tie-breaks in the three-hour and 26-minute affair. 

“I lost tonight to one of the best players in the world,” said Kyrgios. “I went down swinging. Obviously, I feel a lot better this time around. Last year I really didn't know what I was going to do after the Australian Open last year. I feel like I have more of a vision and goal for this year. I think I'm in a good headspace."

The Aussie faithful weren't the only fans attending his matches at Melbourne Park. Actor Will Smith came out to enjoy his meeting with Tsonga, sitting courtside to see tennis' Fresh Prince battle to victory.

Other Aussies finding success at their home Grand Slam included John Millman and Matthew Ebden, who scored first-round upsets in their comebacks from injury. Millman stopped Borna Coric, while Ebden stunned John Isner in a rematch of the 2017 Newport final. Also, teenager Alex de Minaur took a set off eventual quarter-finalist Tomas Berdych, capping a stellar Aussie swing that also included a semi-final finish in Brisbane and runner-up result in Sydney.

Learn About Kyrgios' Charity Work

(5) Marach/Pavic Complete History-Making Month
Two months after enjoying a taste of the Nitto ATP Finals as alternates, Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic are well on their way to qualifying for the season finale for the first time.

The Austrian-Croatian partners celebrated their maiden Grand Slam championship on Saturday in Melbourne, capping a fortnight which saw them claw to the title. Their quarter-final and semi-final victories came in deciding tie-breaks, before ousting 11th seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-4, 6-4 in the title match.

Marach and Pavic made history with their triumph Down Under, becoming the first team to win three titles in the month of January in the Open Era. They kicked off their 2018 campaign with victories at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha and the ASB Classic in Auckland, before lifting the trophy in Melbourne.

In addition, Marach became the first player from Austria to win the Australian Open title - singles or doubles - while Pavic achieved the same feat for his native Croatia. 

Social Reacts To Federer's Sixth Australian Open Title

Mon, 29/01/2018 - 2:53am

Roger Federer's chapter in the annals of tennis history has earned yet another entry with his triumph Down Under: a sixth Australian Open title and his 20th Grand Slam overall. Fellow players, athletes, celebrities and even the president of Switzerland took to social media to congratulate the superstar on his extraordinary five-set win over Marin Cilic in Sunday's final. 

[ALSO LIKE]

#RF20

Marach & Pavic Detail Bizarre Ending To Maiden Slam Victory

Mon, 29/01/2018 - 2:44am
Watch as Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic discuss what happened after the match point that clinched their first Grand Slam championship title.

Tears & Triumph: Federer Makes History Again

Mon, 29/01/2018 - 2:36am
.videoWrapper { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; / 16:9 / padding-top: 25px; height: 0; } .videoWrapper iframe { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

It was 2003 Wimbledon when a talented 21-year-old named Roger Federer — who had not advanced past the quarter-finals at the Grand Slams in 14 tries — finally broke through to win his first major title. The Swiss sobbed with joy.

“To lift the trophy is something you don't expect. But when it happens, it's, for me, very tough with the emotions,” Federer told the media 15 years ago. “I'm just happy to be on the board. It's so nice, if I look at all the players who have won here, a lot have been idols to me. Just to be on the board with [Bjorn] Borg and these people, it's just nice, to be a part of history at Wimbledon and in Grand Slams in general.”

Little did Federer know that he was just getting started. And nearly 15 years later, on Sunday evening, the inimitable Swiss raised his sixth Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after beating sixth seed Marin Cilic to win the 2018 Australian Open, extending his Grand Slam championship titles record to 20.

“Winning is just an absolute dream come true. The fairytale continues for us, for me,” Federer told the crowd on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday night. “After the great year I had last year, it’s incredible.”

Once again, Federer choked back tears. Some things never change. Tears and more importantly, triumph, for the greatest player of all time.

The emotions show that Federer — however hard it is to believe sometimes given his accomplishments — is human. He even admitted battling nerves ahead of his record 30th Grand Slam championship final.

“I was so bloody nervous all day. It was eating me up inside,” Federer said in his post-final press conference. “That's why, when it was all over, I was just so relieved.”

Federer did show some nerves in the fourth set, uncharacteristically losing his break advantage as the trophy loomed in the distance. But he showed his champions’ guile by completely changing the momentum in the fifth set against a dangerous opponent in Cilic who had found his range.

[ALSO LIKE]

The 36-year-old even left the namesake of the court he won on, Rod Laver, scrambling to capture the moment when Federer lifted the trophy.

“I didn't see that through my thick tears, that he was taking a picture of me crying,” Federer said. “When I start thinking about what I was going to say, every subject I touch actually is very meaningful and very emotional… I hoped over time in the speech I would start to relax a little bit, but I couldn't.”

It is fitting that for a player who has provided the tennis world some of its greatest thrills, all Federer wants to do is keep giving it more.

"You guys. You fill the stadiums. You make me nervous. You make me go out and practice,” Federer told the crowd during the trophy ceremony. “Thank you for everything."

Nobody could criticise the Swiss if he never wins a major title again — he has broken countless records and by virtue of Sunday’s victory became the second-oldest Grand Slam championship winner in the Open Era (Ken Rosewall, 1972 Australian Open).

But at 36, Federer is still going strong and having won three of the past five majors, does not appear to be slowing down. The victory against Cilic moves the father of four to within 155 points of Rafael Nadal for the top spot in the ATP Rankings — which Federer has not occupied since 4 November 2012 — and also ties him with Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic atop the Australian Open titles list at six apiece.

Roger Federer's Australian Open Titles

 Year Won  Opponent  Score  2004  Marat Safin  7-6(3), 6-4, 6-2  2006  Marcos Baghdatis  5-7, 7-5, 6-0, 6-2  2007  Fernando Gonzalez  7-6(2), 6-4, 6-4  2010  Andy Murray  6-3, 6-4, 7-6(11)  2017  Rafael Nadal   6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3  2018  Marin Cilic  6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1

But equalling another record is not what stands out to the 96-time tour-level titlist.

“It's about living the emotions that I went through tonight again at the trophy ceremony, going through a tough rollercoaster match, five-setter against Cilic, who is a great player, and then getting No. 6 here, No. 20 overall. It's just a very special moment,” Federer said. “Defending my title from last year, sort of the fairytale continues. That's what stands out for me, maybe not equalling Emerson or Novak. They had their own unbelievable careers. I admire what they're doing and have done with ‘Emmo’. Yeah, it's definitely a very special moment in my life again.”

It isn’t that long ago that for perhaps the first time since winning that 2003 Wimbledon title, Federer’s status appeared uncertain. A year ago, the Swiss arrived at Melbourne Park after a six-month injury layoff, seeded 17th. His last major victory? 2012 Wimbledon.

If that was the beginning of the end, Federer would have still been considered one of if not the greatest ever, his awards cabinet filled with 17 major trophies. But one year and three Grand Slam championship victories later, and the World No. 2 may be playing his best tennis yet at the tender age of 36.

How long can this Federer Renaissance last?

“No idea. Honest, I don't know. I have no idea,” Federer said. “I can't believe it myself.”

Here is to hoping it continues, because the day Roger Federer hangs up his racquets, it won't be the Swiss in tears — it will be the entire tennis world.

Roger Federer 20th Grand Slam Victory Tribute

Mon, 29/01/2018 - 2:25am
Watch this tribute looking back at Roger Federer's Grand Slam victories after earning his 20th at the 2018 Australian Open. Photo Credit: Peter Staples/ATP World Tour

Cilic Eyes No. 1 In ATP Rankings This Year

Mon, 29/01/2018 - 1:43am

Marin Cilic was close, just not close enough.

Playing with great focus and pin-point accuracy on his world class groundstrokes, the 29 year old Croatian battled back from a break down in the fourth set and found himself with break points of his own to start the decisive set in the Australian Open final, which would see Roger Federer emerge victorious after three tense hours. 

One return into the net. One wide. 

And that was it. 

Federer would run away with the fifth set, claiming his record-equaling sixth Australian Open crown (alongside Roy Emerson, Novak Djokovic) and an unprecedented 20th Grand Slam title in the Swiss’ storied career. Cilic had come so close to achieving a second Grand Slam success following his triumph at the US Open in 2014, yet came up short once more. 

Nevertheless, Cilic remained optimistic about his showing in the final, becoming the only player over the fortnight to take a set – two, in fact – off of the defending champion, who had hitherto maneuvered his way through the draw with relative ease. 

“I was hitting the ball great. I was just playing phenomenal,” said the Croatian. “Then first game of the fifth set was more or less crucial at the end with having those... break points that I didn't convert. [It was] just a little bit tougher game, my [next] service game... [It] just ran away from me. 

“But looking overall, I'm really pleased with the performance,” he added, assessing his efforts, which included 45 winners and 16 aces. “[I] played great tennis over these two weeks. I had tough matches, tough opponents, beating Rafa [Nadal], reaching [the] final, which is definitely amazing. Looking at my own game, I think I improved a lot. I'm playing great tennis. That's really exciting for me for this 2018.”

[ALSO LIKE]

Cilic will rise to No. 3 in the ATP Rankings next week, eclipsing his career-best of No. 4 achieved in the fall of last year. Citing multiple improvements in his game, the 29-year-old has his eyes on the top prizes – and the top ranking – in the coming season. 

“My ultimate goal is to reach No. 1,” said Cilic. “That's what I'm working for. Even in these last one or two years, the progress that I did is big. Last year, I improved a lot in different areas. Now in these last couple months, I improved even more. So that gives me big confidence."

As the ATP World Tour picks up pace again in February, Cilic is slated to play a series of clay court events in South America before he tries for his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown (Cincinnati 2016) at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Miami Open presented by Itau. With “World No. 3” as his titular heading into the next swing of the 2018 season, Cilic is taking nothing for granted.

“No. 3 feels and looks amazing, especially behind [Federer and Nadal] as well. But I know how difficult it is, knowing as well Novak and Andy [Murray] and many other guys had a tough last season. For me it's a great time that I improved and that I am continuing to improve. Big times ahead for me.” 

Watch Highlights: Federer Wins 20th Major Crown

Mon, 29/01/2018 - 1:23am
Watch highlights as Roger Federer pulls through a tough five-setter to claim his 20th Grand Slam title and record-tying sixth trophy at the Australian Open. Watch more video and live matches at www.ausopen.com. Highlights not available in Aus., NZ or Canada and only available in Europe and USA 24 hours after completion of the match. Photo Credit: Peter Staples/ATP World Tour.

Federer’s Short-Term Shot At No. 1

Mon, 29/01/2018 - 12:06am

Roger Federer is within reach of the No. 1 ATP Ranking for the first time in over five years after successfully defending his Australian Open title at Melbourne Park on Monday. But he needs to act fast!

Federer, who last held the top spot on 4 October 2012, moved to within 155 points of Rafael Nadal after claiming his 20th Grand Slam title and could dethrone Nadal as World No. 1 in early March when the ATP World Tour 500 events in Dubai and Acapulco conclude.

On 5 March, Nadal will drop the 300 points he earned last year by reaching the Acapulco final (l. Querrey). Federer, who suffered a shock second-round loss to Evgeny Donksoy in the Dubai second round last year, will drop just 45 points.

Federer is yet to announce whether he will take a wild card into Dubai. Nadal is entered to play Acapulco.

Should Federer not play Dubai, Nadal will need to reach the semi-finals of Acapulco to retain No 1. If Federer does play Dubai, his fate will be in his own hands. The Swiss can clinch No. 1 by winning the title. But anything less than his 97th career title will not be enough if Nadal wins the Acapulco title.

Federer, who last year stayed true to his word to put playing schedule and health ahead of chasing No. 1, may see Dubai as his best near-term opportunity to add to the 302 weeks he has amassed at the top of the men’s game. In March, Federer has 2000 points to defend after last year’s back-to-back ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title runs in Indian Wells and Miami. Nadal, in that same period, has 690 points to defend. That is 1310 points less than Federer.

Short And Sweet: Roger's Keys To Victory In Melbourne

Sun, 28/01/2018 - 11:26pm

Roger Federer struck early and struck often to win an unprecedented 20th Grand Slam tournament title at Melbourne Park on Sunday night.

Federer defeated Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in a captivating final that was completely dominated by short rallies. The serve and return took centre stage over bruising baseline exchanges to deliver the Swiss maestro his sixth Australian Open crown.

The line in the sand in the final was clearly the fourth shot landing in the court. Two shots for the server, two for the returner, and then daylight. 

Rally Length
• 0-4 Shots = 76% (212)
• 5-8 Shots = 19% (52)
• 9+ Shots = 5% (16)

More than three out of every four points had just a maximum of four shots - or two shots for each player. Federer ultimately triumphed because of his performance in the big pool of short points. 

Points Won 
• 0-4 Shots = Federer 120 / Cilic 92
• 5-8 Shots = Federer 25 / Cilic 27
• 9+ Shots = Federer 7 / Cilic 9

[ALSO LIKE] 

Federer had a massive 28-point advantage in the 0-4 shot rally length. He crafted his advantage with hitting his spots better serving, making more returns, and attacking immediately with his Serve +1 and Return +1 combinations. Federer hit 24 aces in the final, which was eight more than Cilic’s 16. The Croatian came into the final with 107 aces, while Federer had just 71.

Cilic out-aced Federer to the final, but the tables were turned with the silverware on the line. The same dynamic played out in the 2017 Wimbledon final between these two players as well. In typical Federer fashion, his favourite first-serve locations in both the deuce court and ad court were out wide.

Federer 1st Serve Location
Deuce Court
• Wide 26
• Body 2
• Center 22

Ad Court
• Wide 17
• Body 2
• Center 15

Cilic roped a couple of spectacular forehand return winners cross-court during the final, but overall Federer owned this specific serve location. The Croatian only put 38 per cent (13/24) of Federer’s wide slice serves back in play. The Swiss cleverly dropped the power level on a lot of these wide serves, electing to pull Cilic off the court with heavy slice, making the ball leap away from the 6’6” Croatian. Cilic put a higher 54 per cent (19/35) of his backhand returns back in play in the deuce court. 

Overall, Federer had 48 serves unreturned for the match, while Cilic only had 41. Again, these numbers were in Cilic’s favour leading into the final, but Federer owned them in the last match of the tournament.

Serve and volley was a strategic play that Federer employed seven times in the final, winning all seven points. Federer won 80 per cent (41/51) of his serve-and-volley points for the tournament. Those 51 points represent eight per cent (51/603) of all first and second serve opportunities. 

The only area of Federer’s game that was not humming was making first serves when facing break point. Overall, he faced nine break points in the final, and only made a first serve on three of them. Cilic, meanwhile, faced 13 break points and made a first serve on eight of them. 

Is there any coincidence that this 36-year old is still going so strong by organising his game around short, quick-hitting points rather than grinding out long points that add wear and tear to his body?

The renaissance of Roger is all about dictating at the start of the point. It’s a blueprint to take titles for players at all levels of our sport.

A Look Back On Roger’s 20 Major Titles

Sun, 28/01/2018 - 10:47pm

Twenty Grand Slam titles! It's an achievement that has long been as unfathomable in men's tennis as it has been improbable. That is, until now. Since his first triumph on the lawns of Wimbledon in 2003, Roger Federer has been proving that anything is possible and the Swiss did just that once again on Sunday at Melbourne Park. Federer celebrated an unprecedented 20th major triumph, claiming the Australian Open title with victory over Marin Cilic.

ATPWorldTour.com opens the vault and looks back at the Swiss maestro's 20 Grand Slam victories...

(1) 2003 Wimbledon – d. Mark Philippoussis 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(3)
The year was 2003 and the men’s tennis landscape was in flux. Longtime standard bearer Pete Sampras retired the previous August after winning the US Open, and it wasn’t yet clear who would assume the reins and lead the ATP World Tour going forward. Fans did not have to wait long for an answer to become apparent: Roger Federer. It was apropos that it all began at The Championships. The Swiss’ reign over SW19 began on Day One, gliding over the pristinely cut lawns and launching his slender frame into his one-handed backhand. 

The 21-year-old budding star had already proven himself on Centre Court with a stunning fourth-round upset over seven-time champion Sampras two years earlier. He would go one step further in 2003, brushing aside the competition at the All England Club. He relinquished just one set on his way to a first Grand Slam championship title match. His opponent: fellow Wimbledon final debutant Mark Philippoussis. Philippoussis had endured a much tougher path to the final and proved no match for Federer, who claimed his first taste of Wimbledon glory after just one hour and 56 minutes of play. It was only the beginning.

(2) 2004 Australian Open – d. Marat Safin 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-2
A precocious young talent with nerves of steel, 22-year-old Federer did not have to wait long for his second success at the Grand Slam level. Just over six months later, on the other side of the world, the Basel native lifted the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup for the first time. Federer was taken to four sets in back-to-back matches by Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian to reach the semi-finals, before turning on the style against Juan Carlos Ferrero to book a final meeting with Russia’s Marat Safin.

An in-form Safin did well to upset top seed Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi in five sets en route to the final, however, Federer once again showed his class on the grandest of stages. He would clinch the title after two hours and 15 minutes, as a Safin forehand flew beyond the baseline. As a result of winning the tournament, Federer became World No. 1 for the first time in his career. And he would remain at the pinnacle for years to come. It was a position he would hold for a record of 237 weeks, until 18 August 2008.

(3) 2004 Wimbledon – d. Andy Roddick 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(3), 6-4
Federer vs. Roddick in the Wimbledon final. It’s a phrase that conjures memories of epic encounters and it all got started on a brisk July afternoon in 2004. After a disappointing third-round loss to Gustavo Kuerten at Roland Garros, Federer cruised to his second Gerry Weber Open title in Halle and returned to the scene of his first Grand Slam triumph at the All England Club. Experiencing the role of defending Grand Slam champion for the first time, he dropped just one set – in the quarter-finals to former champion Lleyton Hewitt – en route to his second Wimbledon final.

Waiting for him there would be Andy Roddick. The big-serving American had just successfully defended his crown at The Queen’s Club, but faced a difficult test against his Swiss rival, having dropped five of their six previous meetings. The Wimbledon faithful were treated to a dream No. 1 vs. No. 2 championship clash and Roddick got off to a great start, becoming the first man to take a set off Federer in a Grand Slam final. But, ultimately, Federer would fight back, winning two tight sets before firing down a 12th ace out wide at championship point to lift the trophy and cement himself as the best player in the world.

(4) 2004 US Open – d. Lleyton Hewitt 6-0, 7-6(3), 6-0
Federer’s outstanding season would culminate with his first year-end No. 1 finish in the ATP Rankings. He secured the top spot with a third Grand Slam victory of the year at the US Open. Federer had never progressed beyond the Round of 16 when he entered Flushing Meadows in 2004, but made his way through to the last eight for the loss of just one set. In the quarter-finals, he met two-time champion Andre Agassi and the boisterous New York crowd would witness a thriller on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Agassi won four more points than Federer throughout the match, but fell to the World No. 1 in exactly three hours 6-3, 2-6, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.

A convincing win over Tim Henman put Federer in his first US Open final where he would meet 2001 champion Lleyton Hewitt. Hewitt came into the final in scintillating form, winning all six of his previous matches in straight sets but had no answer for the brilliance of Federer in the championship. The Swiss has only registered four bagel (6-0) sets in his Grand Slam final career and two of them came against the Aussie in the 2004 US Open title match. Federer became the first player since Mats Wilander in 1988 to win three Grand Slam titles in one season, and also the first in the Open Era to triumph in his first four major finals.

"Not even in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought I would win the US Open," he said. "If you can handle New York, you can handle anything."

(5) 2005 Wimbledon – d. Andy Roddick 6-2, 7-6(2), 6-4
Federer would pick up where he left off to start 2005, reaching the Australian Open semi-finals and winning 36 of his next 37 matches. He would succumb to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros, in his first attempt to capture the career Grand Slam, but once again dusted himself off, scoring a third consecutive Halle crown to head to SW19 confident and hungry for a first major title of 2005.

It would be a repeat of the 2004 final in SW19 as he took on Roddick once again. The American had come through two five-set battles to reach his second Wimbledon final but the same script would be written against his great rival in the championship. Federer raced out to a 6-2 first set and swiftly navigated his way through a tie-break in the second before a rain delay halted proceedings. But, much to Roddick’s dismay, it did not stop the Swiss’ momentum. The two-time defending champion would not be stopped, sealing a hat-trick of Wimbledon titles after one hour and 41 minutes. He joined Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras as the only men to win three consecutive titles at the All England Club since World War II.

(6) 2005 US Open – d. Andre Agassi 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-1
Federer’s U.S. summer concluded with a sentimental four-set victory over Agassi, in what would be the American legend’s last Grand Slam final appearance. The Swiss entered Flushing Meadows in strong form, having secured his first of seven titles at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati and he would carry the momentum all the way to the podium on Arthur Ashe Stadium. 

Federer successfully retained his US Open crown and became the first man in the Open Era to complete the Wimbledon-US Open double in consecutive years. He overcame four-set challenges from Nicolas Kiefer in the fourth round and Lleyton Hewitt in the semi-finals to reach his sixth Grand Slam final, where he would down Agassi in four tight sets to take the title. It marked the end of their memorable rivalry that included 11 clashes over eight years. Federer’s sixth major triumph tied him with Boris Becker and idol Stefan Edberg on the all-time list. And, most impressively, he extended his win streak in tour-level finals to a stunning 24 straight, which still stands as an Open Era record today.

(7) 2006 Australian Open – d. Marcos Baghdatis 5-7, 7-5, 6-0, 6-2
Federer’s win streak to open his Grand Slam final career will go down as one of his greatest achievements: seven wins and zero losses from Wimbledon in 2003 to the 2006 Australian Open. That is, seven victories over six different opponents, including four former World No. 1s. The last piece of the streak came in Melbourne Park in ‘06, where Federer kicked off what would go down as his most successful season with a second Aussie Open crown. The Swiss would navigate his way through possibly his toughest final route to date, dropping four sets in his last three matches to reach the final.

Federer would square off against a young Cypriot playing the best tennis of his career. Baghdatis surged to a set and 2-0 advantage and held points for a double break lead, but was unable to maintain the momentum. From that position, Federer would win 14 of the next 16 games to claim the title and become the first man since Pete Sampras in 1994 to win three consecutive Grand Slam crowns. An emotional Federer would be seen at the trophy ceremony as Rod Laver presented the Swiss maestro with his seventh piece of Grand Slam silverware.

(8) 2006 Wimbledon – d. Rafael Nadal 6-0, 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 6-3
Later that season, Federer’s pursuit for the career Grand Slam and a first Roland Garros title were once again dashed by Rafael Nadal in Paris. The 20-year-old Spaniard got the better of the World No. 1 for the second consecutive year in the French capital and handed Federer his first loss in a Grand Slam final. Federer entered the gates of the All England Club 15 days later after another Gerry Weber Open triumph, on a mission to retain his Wimbledon title and become just the third man in the Open Era (Borg & Sampras) to win four consecutive trophies on the hallowed grounds of SW19.

The two great rivals would meet again in the final, and many could have mistaken the Centre Court grass for the terre battue of Roland Garros. It marked a turning point in their rivalry as a 20-year-old Nadal stepped up his game on the slicker surface, using his agility to rattle Federer. But, keen to defend his turf against his chief rival, the Swiss would not be denied. The first of what would be a classic trilogy of consecutive Wimbledon finals between the two gladiators was over after a tense two hours and 58 minutes.

(9) 2006 US Open – d. Andy Roddick 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
A resurgent Roddick, with Jimmy Connors in his corner, had his backhand flowing up the line and his Hall of Fame serve putting opponents on notice. But Federer, who spoiled the hopes of home favourite Andre Agassi in 2005, ended U.S. hopes of a home-grown champion once again, denying Roddick a Grand Slam title for the third time. The Swiss dropped just one set entering the final, where he would upend the 2003 titlist after four gripping sets. With Tiger Woods cheering from his box, Federer was once again too clutch in the big moments and Roddick had no response. The Basel native improved to 11-1 in his last 12 matches against his rival and 3-0 in Grand Slam finals. 

With nine major trophies, Federer moved into solo sixth place on the all-time list, passing Agassi, Connors and Ivan Lendl. He also became the first man in the Open Era to win three consecutive Wimbledon titles and US Open crowns. Federer would go on to post a career-best 92-5 win-loss mark in 2006, capping one of the most dominant campaigns in history.

(10) 2007 Australian Open – d. Fernando Gonzalez 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-4
Make that three in a row and 10 for his career. A 25-year-old Federer breezed past Chile’s Gonzalez in the 2007 final, just as he had done against the field all fortnight long at Melbourne Park. The Swiss star didn't drop a set throughout the tournament, becoming the first man to flawlessly win a major since Bjorn Borg at 1980 Roland Garros. He blasted through a murderer’s row of opponents as well, routing the likes of Jonas Bjorkman, Mikhail Youzhny, Novak Djokovic, Tommy Robredo and Roddick, before dismissing the 10th-seeded Gonzalez.

The achievements continued to pile up for Federer: he tied Jack Crawford's 73-year-old record by appearing in seven consecutive major finals and less than a month later he would break Connors' record of 160 consecutive weeks atop the ATP Rankings.

"Equaling records, doing something that hasn't been done for a long time, it's really nice, no doubt," Federer said. "All I care about in the end is to hopefully hold that trophy. Of course, now that it's over, it's great to think, 'Wow, you know, not having dropped a set.' It's quite amazing."

(11) 2007 Wimbledon – d. Rafael Nadal 7-6(7), 4-6, 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-2
The elusive Roland Garros title evaded Federer again, as Nadal claimed his third consecutive championship in Paris. But Federer gained a bit of revenge at the All England Club, winning his fifth consecutive title at The Championships and matching Borg's seemingly untouchable streak. The Swede in the front row of the royal box as the two competitors put on a show.

On historic Centre Court, Federer and Nadal gave the Wimbledon faithful a match they would never forget. The Spaniard pushed his Swiss rival to five sets, marking Federer’s first five-set match of his five-year reign at the grass-court major. It seemed as if Nadal had discovered the formula to defeat Federer on his preferred surface, but that moment would be put on hold for one more year. After dropping the fourth set 6-2, the Basel native responded in kind, saving multiple break points in the decider before emerging victorious after four hours and 20 minutes.

"I'm just happy with such a great run," Federer said about his five straight titles at SW19. "I'm loving every minute of it, that's clear."

(12) 2007 US Open – d. Novak Djokovic 7-6(4), 7-6(2), 6-4
For the third time in the past four years, Federer clinched a three-Slam season, beating 20-year-old Djokovic during their first meeting in a Grand Slam final. The “first evers” continued as well, as the 26-year-old Federer became the first man in the Open Era to win four consecutive US Open titles. Bill Tilden of the United States won six straight U.S. national titles from 1920-25.

But perhaps what was most impressive was not just the final — in which Federer saved five set points on Djokovic’s serve in the first set and two more in the second set — but the Swiss’ performance in his last three matches of the tournament. Federer defeated three members of the Top 5 in the ATP Rankings. He was not broken in a straight-sets victory in the quarter-finals against World No. 5 Andy Roddick, and earned 25 break chances — seizing nine of them — against World No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko in another three-set win in the semi-finals. Overall, Federer claimed his final 12 sets en route to a 12th Slam trophy.

(13) 2008 US Open – d. Andy Murray 6-2, 7-5, 6-2
It took nine months, but Federer didn't leave 2008 without a Grand Slam title. After falling short in the Roland Garros and Wimbledon finals, Federer needed less than two hours to dismiss Murray. With Federer's record-tying fifth US Open title – he matched Jimmy Connors – the Swiss celebrated his 13th Grand Slam crown, moving to within one of Sampras' all-time mark of 14.

It was a positive end to what was at points a bumpy season — on and off the court — as Federer suffered from food poisoning ahead of the Australian Open and mononucleosis throughout the early part of the year. And to make matters worse, he lost arguably the greatest match ever against archrival Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon final, leading to the loss of his No. 1 spot in the ATP Rankings after a record 237 weeks in August. So while Federer failed to win multiple Slams in 2008 for the first time since 2003, his triumph at Flushing Meadows reminded the world that he was not going anywhere.

“One thing’s for sure,” Federer said on court after beating Murray. “I’m not going to stop at thirteen.”

(14) 2009 Roland Garros – d. Robin Soderling 6-1, 7-6(1), 6-4

For the second time in 10 tries in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry, Federer defeated Rafael Nadal on clay at Madrid in 2009, which was the final event ahead of Roland Garros. Knowing what we know now — Federer has not beaten the left-hander on the surface since (2-13) — perhaps it was a sign.

But he would have to get through Nadal again in Paris, right? Wrong. The previously undefeated four-time Roland Garros champion fell shockingly in the fourth round against Robin Soderling, opening the door for Federer to dance his way through. And that he did.

Federer tied Pete Sampras’ record of 14 major titles — set at the 2002 US Open — winning his first Coupe des Mousquetaires to complete his career Grand Slam. The Swiss ousted Soderling in straight sets after coming from two sets to one down in the semi-finals against Juan Martin del Potro.

It was Federer's fourth Roland Garros final but his first against someone not named “Rafa”. The Swiss took advantage of the opportunity.

(15) 2009 Wimbledon — d. Andy Roddick 5-7, 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 3-6, 16-14
It all began at The Championships for Federer. And fittingly, it was at the All England Club that the Swiss would stomp down another door. Just a month earlier, the second seed finally captured the one major title that long eluded him at Roland Garros, claiming his first trophy on the terre battue to complete his career Grand Slam. But from a historical perspective, that triumph also tied him with Pete Sampras atop the Grand Slam championships list, both at 14. One month later, Federer would stand alone. 

One year after seeing his title streak at Wimbledon come to end at five in arguably the greatest match of all time against Rafael Nadal, another longtime rival in Andy Roddick — whom Federer beat in their previous three Slam finals (2004-05 Wimbledon, 2006 US Open) stood across the net in the final. As the American said following the match, he "threw the kitchen sink at [Federer], but he went to the bathroom and got his tub". That included a personal record of 50 aces for Federer, which still stands today. A break in the final game — Federer’s only break in the entire match — was enough as he ended the longest final in Grand Slam history by games (77) to dethrone Sampras in the record books and Nadal in the ATP Rankings, regaining the No. 1 spot.

(16) 2010 Australian Open — d. Andy Murray 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(11)
Federer arrived in Melbourne Park having advanced to the final of seven consecutive Grand Slams, winning two of his past three (2009 Roland Garros, 2009 Wimbledon). But Murray was Great Britain’s best hope to win a major since Fred Perry in 1936. And the 22-year-old looked the part of a tough challenger when he outplayed Federer’s chief rival, Rafael Nadal, before the Spaniard retired due to a knee injury.

But Federer would have none of it. Despite losing six of his previous nine FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against the Scot, the 28-year-old extended his Grand Slam titles record with a masterful performance. The straight-sets victory clinched Federer’s fourth title in Melbourne, the third major at which he owned at least that many trophies. And in the entire fortnight, he dropped just two sets. In his final four matches, Federer cruised past former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt and three more Top 10 players, losing just one set in total.

“I think this has been one of my finest performances in a long time,” Federer said. “Or, maybe, forever.”

(17) 2012 Wimbledon — d. Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4
If you thought that a time would come when Federer would stop finding ways to etch his name into the record books, well, you’d be wrong. The rise of Novak Djokovic — who won three Grand Slams in 2011 as well as the 2012 Australian Open, left Federer as the third seed entering Wimbledon for the second consecutive year after being No. 1 or No. 2 for the six years prior. It had been more than two years since Federer last won a major — his longest Slam drought since he earned his first triumph at that level at 2003 Wimbledon.

And it wasn’t an easy journey through the draw for Federer, who recovered from a two-set deficit for the sixth time in his career to beat No. 29 seed Julien Benneteau in the third round. He ousted Djokovic, the defending champion, in a four-set semi-final before ending Murray’s hopes of capturing his first major once again, this time in a tougher four sets. The triumph was Federer’s seventh at the All England Club, tying William Renshaw and Pete Sampras’ all-time record. 

(18) 2017 Australian Open — d. Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3
Was this the furthest Federer had been from his usual favourite status at a Grand Slam since he won his first major in 2003? The 35-year-old arrived at Melbourne Park after six months on the sidelines due to a knee injury. It was improbable that the 17th seed would manage his first major since 2012 Wimbledon, especially given his daunting draw — Federer had not beaten a Top 10 opponent in his past four tries.

But improbable is not impossible, and Federer navigated his way past three Top 10 players — including three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals — to become the oldest Grand Slam finalist since Ken Rosewall at the 1974 US Open. Then came Rafael Nadal, whom he had not beaten at a major since 2007 Wimbledon. Down 1-3 in the fifth set, the Swiss’ dream run appeared it would fall just short of a perfect ending. But after winning five straight games, Federer was able to raise his 18th Slam trophy. And that was only the beginning of a tremendous bounceback season in which the right-hander would tally a 52-5 record and finish at No. 2 in the ATP Rankings. 

(19) 2017 Wimbledon — d. Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4
Federer began 2017 better than anyone — including himself — could have imagined, arriving at SW19 with a 25-2 record on the season. Would the dream run continue? The last time the Swiss was at the All England Club, in 2016, he lost against Milos Raonic in the semi-finals before missing the rest of the season due to a knee injury. This time around much was unknown — Federer swept the Australian Open, the BNP Paribas Open and the Miami Open presented by Itau, but skipped the entire clay season. Would competing at Stuttgart and Halle be enough preparation to round into Slam-winning form?

The answer was a resounding yes. Federer, in becoming the oldest player to win on the grass of SW19 in the Open Era, also became the first to win the tournament without the loss of a set since 1976 when Bjorn Borg won the first of five consecutive Wimbledon titles. Federer’s most lopsided major final victory by games since the 2004 US Open (d. Hewitt) was also the first time since 2009 that Federer earned two Grand Slam trophies in a single season.

(20) 2018 Australian Open — d. Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1

An extraordinary 20th Grand Slam trophy was so close. Federer cruised to the final without dropping a set, and standing across the net was Marin Cilic, whom the 36-year-old beat in straight sets to win his 2017 Wimbledon title. The Swiss led two sets to one and an immediate break in the fourth set. But suddenly, victory appeared far away. Federer lost all rhythm on his serve and a historical win was not so certain anymore as the Croat claimed the final five games of the set to force a fifth. But much like in the 2017 Australian Open final, Federer saved his best tennis for last, breaking in the second game of the decider and never looking back, winning a Grand Slam final in five sets for the fourth time in his career.

It is Federer's sixth Norman Brookes Challenge Cup, tying Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic for the most triumphs in the event's history. The right-hander has now won three of the past five majors, and three of the past four Slams he has competed in, a feat he had not accomplished since 2008-09 when he captured the US Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Federer is now within 155 ATP Rankings points of Rafael Nadal, who holds the top spot. The father of four has not held the No. 1 ATP Ranking since 4 November 2012. 

Federer Beats Cilic For 20th Major Crown

Sun, 28/01/2018 - 10:41pm

Roger Federer added another chapter to his phenomenal career on Sunday when the Swiss superstar captured his 20th Grand Slam championship crown to retain his Australian Open title with a thrilling 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Marin Cilic in the night-time final.

Twelve months on from beating Rafael Nadal in a pulsating five-set final, the 36-year-old once again drew upon his great skill and ingenuity to build upon his legacy as the greatest player in tennis history by winning a record-equalling sixth Australian Open crown (with Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic), coming through a draw that respected observers thought would be problematic.

"I'm so happy, it's unbelievable,” said an emotional Federer, with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup trophy in his hands once more. "It's been a long time waiting for this final. It's easier in the afternoon, but when it's at night you think about it all day. I'm happy it's over now. It's a dream come true and the fairy-tale continues. After the year I had last year, it's incredible."

Grand Slam Title Leaders

Player Total Titles Australian Open Titles Roger Federer 20 6* Rafael Nadal 16 1 Pete Sampras
14 2 Roy Emerson 12 6*
Novak Djokovic 12 6* Rod Laver 11 3 Bjorn Borg 11 0

*Federer, Emerson and Djokovic are tied atop the Aussie Open titles list

Federer has now won three of the past five major championships and the victory, secured over three hours and four minutes, in his 30th major championship final, ensures that Federer is now just 155 points behind World No. 1 Nadal in the ATP Rankings. With Nadal not expected to compete until the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in late February, Federer would have the chance to add to his 302 weeks at the pinnacle of men’s professional tennis. He was last No. 1 on 4 November 2012. Read More

Federer has now won 96 tour-level career crowns, with only American Jimmy Connors (109) ahead. His 20 major crowns moves him four ahead of second-placed Nadal (16) in the all-time Grand Slam singles title list.

At 36 years, 173 days, Federer has become the third man in the Open Era (since April 1968) to win four or more Grand Slam championship trophies after turning 30, following in the footsteps of all-time great Australians Rod Laver (1969 Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open) and Ken Rosewall (1968 Roland Garros, 1970 US Open, 1971-72 Australian Opens).

When asked what keeps him motivated, Federer said, "I think by not overplaying. I enjoy practice, not minding the travel [and] having a great team around me, they make it possible. At the end it's seeing that my parents are incredibly proud and happy that I'm still doing it. They enjoy coming to tournaments. That makes me happy and play better.

"Then, of course, my wife [Mirka] who makes it all possible. Without her support, I wouldn't be playing tennis no more since many years. But we had a very open conversation, if she was happy to do this or not, years ago. I'm happy that she's super supportive, and she's willing to take on a massive workload with the kiddies. Same for me, because I wouldn't want to be away from my kids for more than two weeks. This life wouldn't work if she said, 'No'."

Grand Slam Title Leaders Aged 35+

Player No. of Titles Titles Won Roger Federer 3 2017 & 2018 Australian Open, 2017 Wimbledon Ken Rosewall 3 1971 & 1972 Australian Open, 1970 US Open

Read: How The 2018 Final Was Won - Set-by-Set Analysis

Under a closed roof on Rod Laver Arena, due to the extreme heat, the perfect conditions favoured Federer, whose majestic stroke-play – a throw-back to a bygone era – ensured that the second seed raced out to a 4-0 lead. Having lost just two of his first-service points in the first set, Federer’s momentum stalled when Cilic’s serve and forehand potency began to reap dividends. Although sixth seed Cilic dumped a backhand into the net on set point opportunity at 5-4, with Federer serving at 30/40, the Croatian regrouped and played decisively in the tie-break, finishing with a composed smash winner.

Federer held his ground, waited for his next opportunity and when it came, at 3-2 in the third set, he capitalised on a forehand error from Cilic – letting out a scream of “Come On!”. Federer won five of the next six games and in breaking Cilic’s serve in the first game of the fourth set, the Swiss player’s grip tightened on a 20th major trophy (20-10 record).

With a Croatian flag fluttering barely four metres from the support team of Federer, Cilic gained inspiration and in a dramatic turnaround from a 1-3 deficit, the Croatian broke twice and clinched the fourth set courtesy of rediscovering his serve and winning the longer rallies. Federer ended a run of five straight games for Cilic by winning the first game of the decider, not before saving two break points.

"[I was] just really trying to get back winning a game again," said Federer. "So for me it was really just trying to break his momentum. [I] tried to serve well. [I] tried to get lucky a little bit. I think I was able to get that first game, at least get on the board. From then on, maybe momentum shifts a little bit, and it's exactly what happened. I think experience helped me there a little bit, and also a little bit of luck, I felt like I needed a little bit tonight."

Federer didn’t blink and seized his chance to take a 3-0 lead. Although Cilic, 27-13 in fifth sets, continued to fight, with the trophy in sight and another historic chapter in his glorious career almost finished, Federer didn’t let down his guard. He broke once more for a 5-1 lead when Cilic hit a forehand approach into the net. At the end, Federer had a look of a player unaware of his achievement: 20 Grand Slam crowns. Tears soon rolled down his cheeks.

Longest Streaks Of Grand Slam Titles By Federer & Nadal

Length of Streak Federer's Titles Nadal's Titles 11 majors 2005-07 Wimb, 2005-07 USO, 2006-07 AO 2005-07 RG 6 majors  2008 USO, 2009 RG, 2009 Wimb 2008 RG, 2008 Wimb, 2009 AO 5 majors
2017 AO, 2017 Wimb, 2018 AO 2017 RG, 2017 USO 4 majors 2010 AO 2010 RG, 2010 Wimb, 2010 USO

"It was an amazing journey for me," said Cilic, who beat Nadal in the quarter-finals and will rise to a career-high No. 3 on Monday. "It could have been the best two weeks of my life. I had the chance at the beginning of the fifth but he played a great match. My team have been unbelievable for the last two weeks. We started this year amazingly well and hopefully we can reach more finals and lift more trophies!"

Federer improved to 9-1 lifetime against Cilic in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, having also won their 2017 Wimbledon final clash. The Swiss hit 41 winners to Cilic’s 45, but it was his stronger service consistency – 67 of 84 first-service points won and 32 of 55 second-service points won – that ensured he was able to remain in contention, despite surges in match-momentum for Cilic. Federer also hit 24 aces to Cilic’s 16, converting six of his 13 break point opportunities on the Croatian's serve.

How Federer Won The 2018 Australian Open Final

Sun, 28/01/2018 - 10:27pm

Roger Federer beat Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 to win his sixth Australian Open and 20th overall Grand Slam title after three hours and three minutes on Sunday night.

In a match of multiple momentum shifts, Federer joined Australia's Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic of Serbia as a six-time champion in the 50th Open Era edition of the Australian Open.

Federer has become just the third man, after Ken Rosewall and Rod Laver, in the Open Era to win four or more Grand Slam titles after becoming a 30-year-old and now moves just 155 points behind World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the ATP Rankings.

Federer improved to 9-1 lifetime against Cilic in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, having also won their 2017 Wimbledon final clash. The Swiss hit 41 winners to Cilic’s 45, but it was his stronger service consistency – 67 of 84 first-service points won and 32 of 55 second-service points won – that ensured he was able to remain in contention, despite surges in match-momentum for Cilic. Federer also hit 24 aces to Cilic’s 16, converting six of his 13 break point opportunities on the Croatian's serve.

[ALSO LIKE]

ATPWorldTour.com breaks down how the Australian Open was won.

First Set 

Federer got off to a flying start under the roof on Rod Laver Arena, racing out to a 4-0 lead against Cilic, in what is a repeat of last year's final from The Championships at Wimbledon. Cilic netted a smash in the opening game to hand Federer the initiative and was broken again in the third game of the match after firing a backhand into the tramline. Cilic only managed to win four points in the first four games, and until winning the fifth game of the match was totally outrallied and outplayed by Federer. Sublime serving from Federer saw the 19-time Grand Slam champion lose just two points on serve all set as he cruised to a one-set advantage, sealed by another backhand error from his opponent.

Second Set 

Looking to respond quickly to the disappointment of losing the first set, Cilic held serve in the opening game and manufactured two break points on Federer’s serve. At 15/40, Federer fired down an ace out wide to save the first before unleashing on a run-around forehand down the line to level at deuce before holding for 1-1. Time and time again throughout the set, Cilic served his way out of tricky situations. The 6’6” Croat staved off single break points at 1-1, 2-2 and 4-4 to maintain his lead with two aces and an unreturned serve to keep Federer at bay. After comfortable holds through most of the set, Federer double faulted at 4-5 30/30 to hand Cilic set point, but the soon-to-be World No. 3 could not capitalise as he dumped a cross-court backhand into the net.

After Federer escaped for 5-5, two service holds would force the set to a crucial second-set tie-break. Federer made the first move with a rifled backhand, opening up the court for an easy winner to go ahead 3/2. But was immediately pegged back by Cilic, who hammered a forehand return for a winner to reach the change of ends back on serve. The decisive move came at 4/5 with Cilic hitting a backhand return at Federer’s laces, before hammering a looped ball into the corner off the forehand to set up two set points. On the second, the 2014 US Open champion banished the memory of his error in the opening game of the match to smash his way to a second-set success.

Third Set 

Set three was decided by one game. The sixth game was to be the only game of the set featuring break points, and it was Federer who grasped control of the final here. Cilic netted two groundstrokes and failed to control a Federer passing shot on the volley, to hand his opponent three break opportunities and Federer happily obliged at the second time of asking. The five-time champion stepped in on his backhand return, taking time away from his opponent to force another error and move ahead 4-2. Three games later, Federer closed out the set to love, with his 19th ace, to move to within a set of an incredible milestone victory.

Fourth Set 

After leading 30-0 in the first game, Cilic hit three errors to hand Federer an opportunity to seize immediate control. Federer sliced a short return to Cilic’s backhand wing and forced his opponent into a fourth consecutive error to inch even closer to his 20th Grand Slam title. Federer had a chance for a double break in the third game, but could do nothing to stop Cilic’s aggressive play on the forehand wing. The sixth seed pummelled a forehand winner down the line to stay in contact. Cilic threw caution to the wind in the sixth game, stepping up with more aggressive play to force Federer into errors, which led to getting back on serve. Two games later, Cilic threatened Federer’s serve again and crucially found another breakthrough. The 29-year-old attacked the Federer forehand and stepped into the court to dispatch a short reply for a winner, before serving out the set to love for his fifth consecutive game, sending the year’s first major to a final set.

Fifth Set 

Cilic’s big chance came in the first game with two break points on Federer’s serve, but the Croat failed to get either of his returns into play after strong Federer serving. After the relief of surviving his opening service game, Federer went on the offensive to break Cilic for a 2-0 lead with a deep cross court backhand return which Cilic ran around, but could only push into the net. From there, Federer surged to victory. A single love hold for Cilic in the fourth game was the only interlude to the charge of Federer. who won 12 of the last 13 points and sealed the title, for the second successive year on a Hawk-Eye challenge, with an unreturned serve out wide.