Roger Federer savours long awaited 18th Grand Slam win

Gael Monfils v Rafael Nadal R4 Day 8 Rod Laver Arena 23 January 2017

Roger Federer savours long awaited 18th Grand Slam win

Roger Federer will be aiming to increase his all-time men's record to 18 when he takes on 14-time major victor Rafael Nadal on Sunday night, completing the singles finals lineup of all 30-somethings.

Two weeks is a long time for an athletic event, but the beauty of tennis' Grand Slams is that it is enough time for athletes to recalibrate themselves, reveal themselves, acquit themselves, surprise themselves, and in the case of Federer, Nadal and Venus, put some wonder back into their personal stories.

Nadal, who went 4/17 in break points won, committed 28 unforced errors - 29 fewer than Federer. What is truly inspiring is that Federer did it at the age of 35 and after returning from a six-month injury lay-off. Also, he won the first of his 17 Grand Slam titles in 2003 (Wimbledon) during a rare celestial phenomenon when seven planets were in strong positions.

Federer's win was also celebrated on social media as players, actors congratulated him for his remarkable achievement. Only man in the professional era to win three consecutive majors twice in his career when he captured the 2007 Australian Open title. He won all four tournaments he entered on the surface and in the middle of that run was his defeat of Federer in Rome.

On Sunday, January 29 the world stopped talking politics for a short while as the most classic men's final a Grand Slam tennis tournament could imagine today took place in the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne where the Australian Open men's finals took place.

And while Federer has been able to rest up after his three-hour semi-final victory over Stan Wawrinka on Thursday, Nadal must recuperate as best he can after his epic five-hour victory over Grigor Dimitrov on Friday.

"It remains for me the ultimate challenge to play against him".

"At that moment, for sure we never thought that we had the chance to be in a final again, and especially in the first of the year", recalled Nadal.

Cash, working for BBC's Radio 5 Live, called the lengthy break "legal cheating", lashing the 18-time grand slam victor for his approach.

"The magnitude of this match is going to feel different. I would have been happy again to be in the finals", thus "this one will take more time to sink in". I think he made me a better player. While her explosive athleticism is the most apparent facet of her game, Serena's underrated tennis intelligence has contributed significantly to her capturing a record 10 Grand Slam titles after turning 30. If there was one I would have been very happy to accept the draw tonight and share it with Rafa. Let it fly off your racquet and just see what happens.' I think that's the mindset I got to have, as well, in the finals. "I will keep on fighting".

"I think I started to play more clear again in the fifth set". Some of them I have lost right there against you.

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