Australian Open final: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal renew rivalry

The US Open champion won 20 of a possible 26 points to crush Federer in the third set and take the early break in the fourth. Federer, 35, sat out six months previous year due to a knee injury, and Nadal, 30, battled a bad wrist. Nadal on the other hand has won there twice.

Dimitrov was asked to predict a victor between the 17-time and 14-time grand slam winners, but he is just intent on enjoying a battle for the ages.

In grand slam finals Nadal leads 6-3.

Before Sunday's final, the two had last met in final of the 2011 French Open, where Nadal triumphed in four sets. I think he made me a better player.

The match was all about the rivalry between the great legends in the sport.

"Today. I felt my quad midway through the second set already, and the groin started to hurt midway through the third set", Federer said, adding the time "did a little bit, potentially" help the injury in the Wawrinka semifinal, but "I' m not sure".

The first set was a fierce back-and-forth for the first few service games.

"I need to go back to the hotel, to rest well, and to recover".

Federer said as much, "there's no draws in tennis, but I would have been happy to accept the draw with Rafa, really", he turned to his opponent (and friend on the tour).

Both of them played three five-set games in the Australian Open, including the final. Was a great fight.

Then he turned his attention to Sunday, and the match that transcends tennis.

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He was right about his run and his victory, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win that gave him his 18th Grand Slam singles title.

Nadal takes the first serve, and makes a strong start to the match.

Federer, off for six months with an injured left knee, was ranked No. 17.

It's the 35th matchup between the two tennis titans, who have an incredible 31 Grand Slam titles between them.

That losing record against the Spaniard had worn Federer down in the past. Nadal will be hoping to cut the gap and move into outright second on the all-time list by winning his 15th.

But with Federer trailing 3-1, he finally broke through.

But Federer likes his chances on the hard courts at the Australian Open this year - he believes they are playing faster than in years past, which suits his game better than Nadal's.

Both players rolled back the years to put on a real spectacle in Melbourne, which is well worth a second watch.

Moments after becoming the oldest Grand Slam champion in 45 years with a breathtaking victory over Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer dropped a hint about his future. If you count Laver's 11 slams, there were 44 total grand slam titles among the three standing on the podium.

Two of the sport's most celebrated talents, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, squaring off in a Grand Slam final one more time, a scene we surely thought we wouldn't see again. Serena has won 22 titles, while Venus has won seven.


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