Federer wins sixth Australian Open title

Roger Federer

Roger Federer survived a major scare on Sunday in the final of the Australian Open as he had to grind down a determined Marin Cilic in five sets to lift the first grand slam of the year and the 20th of his career.

Federer, in his 30th grand slam final was cool and composed while his opponent, appearing in only his third grand slam final, looked nervy and tense.

The opening set was over in the blink of an eye as Federer took it 6-2 without being asked any real questions.

Cilic came out firing in the second stanza and caught Federer by surprise with his increased intensity. No breaks of serve after 12 games meant a breaker was required. And Cilic played some brilliant points to level matters at 1-1.

The third set saw the Swiss star strengthen his grip on the match as his level of play increased. A break of serve in the sixth game was all he needed to race out to a 2-1 advantage.

The fourth set looked as if it could be over in a hurry as Federer broke early and started hitting some majestic groundstrokes. However, out of nowhere, he let Cilic back into the final as a shocking service game meant he was broken to love and then broken again a game later. Cilic took his get-out-of-jail-card with open hands and went on to claim the set and force a decider.

At the start of the fifth, the roles had been reversed as Cilic was now the enforcer and Federer was just holding on. Against the run of play, Federer then broke in the second game and closed-out the final in clinical fashion as Cilic fell slightly flat.

In his 107th match at the Australian Open, Federer lifted his sixth Australian Open title and 20th grand slam title. The win marked his third grand slam title after turning 35-years-of-age. Incredible.