Roger Federer wins sixth Australian Open and 20th Grand Slam title

Roger Federer won his sixth Australian Open and 20th Grand Slam title with a five-set victory over Marin Cilic.

The Swiss lost five games in a row as he dropped the fourth set but recovered to win 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 6-1.

Federer, 36, becomes only the fourth player after Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf to win 20 or more major singles titles.

The final was played under the Rod Laver Arena roof as the tournament’s extreme heat policy was invoked.

Despite starting at 19:30 local time in Melbourne, the conditions were if anything more testing than 24 hours earlier, when Caroline Wozniacki and Simona Halep played to the point of exhaustion in the women’s final.

With the roof closed and air-conditioning taking the edge off the temperature, Federer and Cilic played out a gripping contest over three hours and two minutes.

After a poor start, Cilic looked to have the momentum when he won five games in a row to force a fifth set, but Federer clung on to his serve at the start of the decider and got the key break in the following game.

The Swiss ties the record for men’s Australian Open titles at six with Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson, and moves four clear of Rafael Nadal in the all-time list for male Grand Slam champions on 20.

What they said

Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash on Radio 5 live: It was a good performance from both players. You’ve got to hand it to Cilic, he had to play his best tennis and keep it up. That was the problem.

Federer was consistent the whole way through. Other than a few double faults and a few patches, it was good consistency.

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller: Federer has previously won 19 of these, but he has a look of a man who’s never done it before. He may be 36, but he shows no sign of ageing. He’s proved yet again he’s too good for the rest of the world.
Federer route to the title
Match Opponent (seeding) Score
First round Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-4 6-3
Second round Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-4)
Third round Richard Gasquet (29) 6-2 7-5 6-4
Fourth round Marton Fucsovics 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 6-2
Quarter-finals Tomas Berdych (19) 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 6-4
Semi-finals Chung Hyeon 6-1 5-2 retired
Final Marin Cilic (6) 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 6-1