Roger Federer claimed a record-equalling sixth Australian Open title with a 6-2 6-7(5) 6-3 3-6 6-1 victory over Marin Cilic on Sunday.
The 36-year-old defending champion becomes the first male player to win 20 Grand Slam titles and only the fourth player after Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf to win 20 or more major singles titles.
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 at a rocking Rod Laver Arena.
Federer won the opening set in 24 minutes before Cilic, playing his first final in Melbourne, found his range with a barrage of big hitting to drag the showpiece match into a deciding set.
But once Federer fought off a break point in the first game he re-established control and surged to his 20th major.
The Swiss now moves four clear of Rafael Nadal in the all-time list for male Grand Slam champions on 20.
“It’s a dream come true and the fairytale continues,” said Federer, who has won three of the last five majors following a resurgence in 2017.
“I’m so happy, it’s unbelievable.
“After the year I had last year, it’s incredible.”
Meanwhile, social media is awash with tributes to the ageless Swiss who continues to mesmerize with his superhuman talents…
Roger Federer wins his 20th Grand Slam:
— SQUAD XTRA (@squadxtra) January 28, 2018
Roger Federer accounts for 10% of the men's singles title in the Open Era.
Roger Federer isn't Human.
— Siddarth Krishna (@Lockhartsaint) January 28, 2018
Roger Federer … champion, modern day gladiator. Most of all an inspiration to the world. Tears of joy tears of pleasure what drives him further … no fear of winning no fear of losing yet is it the fear of under performing to his own high ability?? Fabulous modest champion.
— ?? Craig Wilson ?? (@craigdawilson) January 28, 2018
— Saravanan (@sharav_13) January 28, 2018