Roger Federer won his sixth Australian Open championship with a five-set win over Marin Cilic, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. He tied Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson for the most Australian men’s singles titles.
In the past 12 months, Federer has won back-to-back Aussie Open titles and three Grand Slam championships in all to bring his total to 20 .
He accomplished his latest major at 36 years, 173 days, the oldest player to win a Slam in the Open era. Federer stood at the winner’s podium, celebrating with his latest trophy as tears streamed down his eyes.
Federer broke down in tears — not for the first time — during the trophy ceremony in Rod Laver Arena as Laver himself was taking pictures with his phone from the front row.
“The fairy tale continues, for us, for me,” Federer said, looking toward his team and his family in the players’ box.
“After the great year I had last year,” he said, hesitating and fighting to keep his composure, “it’s incredible.”
Roger Federer described making a successful defence of his Australian Open title to claim a record-extending 20th Grand Slam success as a “very special moment in my life”.
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.
“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.
“These are exciting times ahead. But, no, as a professional, it’s what we do. But I’m happy I’m in that position right now.”
On why he was so teary-eyed, Federer explained: “I think what happened is I got to the finals very quickly. The semis was cut short. I had a lot of emotions left in me because I didn’t have to go to extreme like last year against Nishikori, Stan, so forth.
“I think when it was all said and done, it reminded me very much of the Baghdatis final, which was tough. I was the favorite. I got to the finals in a really good manner.
“Then when it was all said and done, Rocket gave me the trophy, I was standing in front of the people, I don’t know, it’s when it really hits me.
“When I start thinking about what I was going to say, every subject I touch actually is very meaningful and very emotional. Thanking your team, congratulating Marin, thanking the people, thanking the tournament. At the end it’s like one big party.
“But I hoped over time in the speech I would start to relax a little bit, but I couldn’t. It was what it was. I wish it wasn’t so sometimes. At the same time I’m happy I can show emotions and share it with the people.
“If I got emotional, it’s because it was a full crowd again. No people in the stadium wouldn’t make me emotional, I’ll tell you that. This is for them really also.”
“The problem in the fourth set was that my mind was all over the place,” Federer told Australia’s Seven Network. “I was so close and I was telling myself, ‘Don’t mess it up,’ and then that’s exactly what I did. I got a bit lucky at the beginning of the fifth set. I personally don’t think I would have come back if he’d broken me first.”
Asked how long he’ll be able to play at this high of a level and against players who are bigger, stronger and younger, Federer said, “I have no idea. I’ve won three Slams in 12 months. I can’t believe it myself. I just have to keep a good schedule, stay hungry and then maybe good things can happen.”
-20 Grand Slams
-302 weeks at world No.1
-1139 matches won
And Still Going ……………………………………….