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Sunday, 29 January 2017

Roger Federer wins Australian Open Beating Rafael Nadal in Epic Final






Roger Federer wins Australian Open in epic final against Rafael Nadal

ABC,net.au
An Australian Open final between two ageless champions turned out to be a tennis match for the ages, with Roger Federer beating Rafael Nadal in five outstanding sets before a rapturous Rod Laver Arena crowd.
The Swiss star prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 against his fellow great, coming from a break down in the fifth set to claim his 18th major title.
A revitalised Federer mixed up his tactics against an opponent who has had the better of him historically, hitting 73 winners to Nadal's 35.
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.
Nadal ensured he was consistently excellent throughout, landing the ball deep with his usual combination of power and spin.
The match tended to swing on Federer's performance level — when he remained error-free his fluid strokeplay handed him winners, but when he was off his game slightly the mistakes came and Nadal took advantage.
Not until the fifth set did Nadal impose his own brand of brilliance on the contest, only for Federer to somehow find another level and surge to victory.
Federer's early aggression appeared to catch Nadal off guard, moving forward to cut off the angles, and using his cross-court backhand to do particular damage.
The 35-year-old drew first blood in the seventh game of the first set, earning two break points by winning a tremendous baseline rally, before converting the first to take a 4-3 lead.
He did not give the Spaniard a look-in in his next two service games, securing the set 6-4 in 34 minutes with an ace.
Nadal upped the ante in Federer's very first service game of the second set, pummelling returns to encourage errors from the Swiss, and taking the game from deuce to lead 2-0.
The next game lasted eight minutes and went to deuce three times, but Federer fell just short of breaking back, in what was a massive hold for Nadal.
The 30-year-old was finding his range, though, plunging the ball deep to pin the Swiss behind the baseline. He broke again to race to a 4-0 second-set lead. Federer would hustle back one break, but Nadal had done enough, taking the set 6-3 having made 100 per cent of returns.
After going 40-0 up in his first service game of the third set, Federer allowed Nadal back into the game with uncharacteristically poor shots hitting low on the net. Nadal earned two break points but Federer's serve got him out of trouble with an ace each time.
Having saved that game, his confidence surged and he broke Nadal in the next, racing to a 3-0 lead in the third set. The Swiss went 15-40 up in Nadal's next service game but could finish the job, his opponent fighting back to break his duck in the set.
It only saved him the indignity of a bagel, with Federer dulling the impact of the Spaniard's forehand by constantly pushing him into the backhand corner, closing the set out 6-1 with a gorgeous drop shot.
The see-sawing nature of the contest was to continue in the fourth set, however, with Nadal breaking in the fourth game to go 3-1 up. Suddenly the Spaniard's power strokes were landing perfectly again and Federer was framing them.
Nadal magnificently held his serve in the fifth game by winning the rally of the tournament, containing impossibly angled shots and perseverance from both men, with a stretched forehand rifled across court and out of Roger's reach.
The Spanish star took the set and the match had already fulfilled expectations, with a decider to come.
Federer faced the daunting task of serving to a rampant Nadal in the first game of the fifth set and he was unable to hold off the left-hander.
The next game the Swiss went to his primary weapon — his cross-court, dipping backhand, to move to 15-40. Rafa came into the net and fought back to deuce, eventually holding for 2-0.
Federer held his next service game to love before receiving treatment on his right quad, as he had done at the end of the fourth set, despite appearing to move freely around the court.
The match was to throw in more twists just as it seemed Nadal was headed for victory, as Federer broke back in a smash-and-grab sixth game, with his cross-court backhand once again the star.
He won his next service game in a flash before an epic eighth game of the fifth set decided the fate of the trophy.
Nadal came back from 40-0 down to deuce. Federer earned an advantage with a winner to end an incredible 26-shot rally before a Nadal ace brought it back to deuce. A forehand down the line gave Federer another chance at a break and this time he converted to make it 5-3.
Nadal was never going to make it easy for him to serve out the match, but Federer finally completed the task with a sweet forehand into the left-hander's backhand corner.
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).

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