I KNOW WE'RE GETTING HD PICS SOON BUT I CAN'T STOP pic.twitter.com/StRs3QriAe
— #RF19 (@fedology) January 28, 2018
Roger Federer Steadies Himself to Win his 20th Major Title & 6th Australian Open Title
Roger Federer’s serve looked quite vulnerable at the close of the 4th set and opening stages of the 5th set. Would Cilic win the title after trailing 3-1 in the 4th set down 2 sets to 1? Cilic ran off 5 straight games to force a 5th set. Cilic held 2 break points in the opening game of the 5th set. Momentum was clearly not with Federer, but momentum is fickle. Federer held for 1-0 in the 5th set and then broke Cilic to stem the tide and reverse the emotions of his 5 game skid to close the 4th set. Federer held again and suddenly Federer was 12 points away from a 20th major title rather than fighting off a 3rd consecutive service break.
Major Totals and Historic Significance
Roger Federer reached an improbable 20th major title with this victory. He also ties Novak Djokovic for the most Australian titles in the Open Era with 6 titles. Roger holds the most Wimbledon titles of all time (including non-Open Era players) and is tied with Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras for the most US Open titles with 5. Holding or being tied for the most Open Era titles at 3 of the 4 majors helps Federer’s GOAT credentials quite a bit. Roger Federer also reached a record 30th major final with his record in these matches being 20-10. Federer also holds 96 career titles still 13 behind Jimmy Connors’ record 109 titles. Marin Cilic reached his 3rd major final falling to 1-2 in these matches. Cilic is not yet a lock for the International Tennis Hall of Fame, but reaching the final or better at 3 of the 4 majors is a big feather in his cap.
Cilic to World #3
Marin Cilic has risen to #3 in the world. Grigor Dimitrov’s title at the 2017 World Tour Finals gave Grigor a lot of legitimacy at world #3, but Cilic reaching 2 major finals in the past 52 weeks means Cilic is a worthy #3 behind Nadal and Federer.
I will have more to say, but fatigue sets in for viewers too.