Roger Federer has acquiredthe 18th Grand Slam title of his legendary career as he beat rival Rafael Nadal in five sets to win his fifth Australian Open.Federer’s 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 triumph cements his status at the top of the game where he now sits four clear of Nadal and Pete Sampras.
The match marked an extraordinary comeback for the players, both of whom have battled recent injuries and are older than most of their fellow tournament opponents.
Nadal came into the match with a 9-3 edge over Federer in Grand Slam final rivalry.
Roared on by a partisan Rod Laver Arena crowd, Federer roared back from 3-1 down in the nerve-shredding final set before closing it out on the second championship point with a forehand winner to seal his fifth crown at Melbourne Park.
Implanted 17th and playing his first tour tournament after six months out of the game, Federer capped his brilliant comeback from injury with his first grand slam title since Wimbledon in 2012.
Federer also became the oldest Grand Slam champion since Ken Rosewall won the 1972 Australian Open aged 37, prevailing in a 3hrs and 37mins classic to secure his first Aussie crown since 2010 with all five titles coming against different opponents.