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Australian Open 2018: Federer Edges Cilic to Claim 20th Grand Slam

Roger Federer v Marin Cilic (Photo: Australian Open/Twitter)

Roger Federer has won his 6th Australian Open title and 20th Grand Slam after beating Marin Cilic in Melbourne on Sunday night.

Federer showed his class on Rod Laver Arena to take the final in five sets 2-6, 7-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

The final started in similar fashion to their last Grand Slam final encounter in 2017 at Wimbledon with a nervous-looking Cilic making a number of unforced errors.

Federer broke in the opening game of the set then got a double break on Cilic’s next service game to quickly race out to a 4-0 lead.

Cilic finally got on the scoreboard in the 5th game, but by then the set was already over as Federer held serve to take the first set 6-2.

Cilic’s nerves settled down in the second set, and as he became more consistent with his first serve he looked like he could get back into the match.

Cilic had an opportunity to break Federer in his opening service game but failed to convert the break point. Cilic’s serve then got him out of trouble in the 5th game when Federer had a break point.

Too many unforced errors gave Federer a chance to break in the 9th game of the set and when he nailed a backhand down the line it looked as if he would serve for the set but Cilic’s serve once again came to his rescue as he took a 5-4 lead.

Marin Cilic (Photo: Australian Open/Twitter)

Cilic, who is now the World No.3, then had a set point in the next game as Federer made his second double-fault of the match but another unforced error from Cilic kept the Swiss master in the set.

Cilic and Federer held to love in their next service games to force the set into a tie-breaker. Cilic would take the set and level the match with an overhead smash 7-5 in the tie-break.

The third set went on serve until the 6th game when unforced errors from Cilic saw Federer break and go 4-2 up. Federer confirmed the break and would take the set 6-3.

Cilic, needing to take the set to force it into a decider, could not have had a worse start, losing his serve in the opening game after having a chance to go 40-0 up.

Cilic saved break points in his next service game as Federer showed why he has 20 Grand Slam titles, forcing the Croatian into a number of unforced errors. Cilic held but still was a game behind in the set.

Federer showed his class tonight (Photo: Australian Open/Twitter)

Cilic, however, turned it up a gear in the 6th game, breaking Federer to love to lock it up at 3-3. The Croatian, looking stronger as the match went on, then broke again to take the set and force it into a deciding 5th set.

Cilic who had the momentum going into the final set and was playing some fantastic tennis had two break points in the opening game of the set, but Federer, who started to show some real emotion, got out of jail to hold.

Cilic, however, could not hold his opening service game and would go 2-0 down. Federer confirmed the break to race to 3-0 and this time he would not let the advantage slip as he broke again to go 5-1 up.

Cilic fought to the end but could not find a way back and Federer would claim his 6th Australian Open title.

It has been an Australian Open to remember for Croatian tennis fans with Mate Pavic taking the Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles titles.

 

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