Sunday, 29 January 2017

Federer wins his 18th Grand Slam title

The final match of Aus Open 2017 was upon us - the Men's Singles Final.  Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer to do battle yet another time at the highest level, and Australians had the honour and pleasure of hosting it.

A packed Rod Laver Arena on a perfect Sunday night was in readiness to cheer every winner and sigh at every missed shot from their favourite.
Federer attempting to win his first Grand Slam title since Wimbledon 2012, Nadal his first since Roland Garros 2014.
Both recovering from five set semi final victories.

Nadal served first.  A love game and 1-0, four Federer errors, two forced.  First long rally resulted in Federer backhand error. 15-15.  Swiss forehand winner and two game points.  Game won with the second of those. 1-1.
Federer forehand winner and Nadal double fault 30-30.  Lucky net cord and serve held 2-1 Nadal.

Two good serves set up winners for Federer and he levelled at 2-2.  Forcing shots from both wings by Nadal on the back of solid serves contributed to Federer mistakes and another love game. 3-2.  Forehand winner and an ace included in a love game from Federer and 3-3.  Two break points after a barrage of Federer ground strokes including winners and forced Nadal errors.  A Nadal shot wide for the break.  4-3 Federer.

Four quality first serves and Federer consolidated the break with a love game. 5-3.
An ace and a couple of Nadal forehand winners at least stopped the Federer run, although he still would be serving for the set at 5-4.
Nadal hit a great backhand winner but Federer continued serving well and won the set with an ace 6-4.

Nadal began the second set serving and it was 30-15 after a Nadal volley winner and Federer error.  Roger found the net and two game points to Rafa.  Ace for 1-0.
Double fault and a Nadal backhand in the corner drawing a Federer error, then a spectacular Nadal winner for break point.  Saved with a good serve. A second break point with Nadal at the net.  Broken following another Federer appointment with the net.  2-0 Nadal.

Three poor shots in succession by Nadal and break back chance for Federer.  Bad  forehand by Roger and deuce.  Another the same and game point for Nadal.  Deuce after netted Nadal shot.  Break chance number two after overhead winner from Federer.  Saved after searching rally ended in Federer miss. Coo under pressure, Nadal held for 3-0.

0-30 after poor forehand wide from Federer.  Killer return winner from Nadal and three break chances.  Two lost.  Another one wide from Federer and a second break.  4-0 Nadal.  Forehand winner from Federer and Nadal finding net 0-30.  Federer also hit the net - twice.  Another winner - off forehand - and break point. The break came with the forehand and it was 1-4 Federer with serve to come.

Federer held after double faulting at 40-15 and trailed 2-4.  Three Federer mistakes made it easy for Nadal.  A fourth gave him a 5-2 lead.  Deep return forced a mistake 0-15.  Good Federer serve and 15-15.  Another nice serve set up the backhand winner and the game was won with another winner 3-5.

Nadal served for the set.  15-0, Federer and the net meeting.  30-0, Nadal forehand winner.  Three set points,  Federer finding net again.  Federer long and Nadal 6-3.  A set each.

Set three opened with Federer at the line.  He found some first serves to race to 40-0. Nadal decided to participate and hit a winner down the line, then won the next two points for deuce.  A woeful Federer miss into the net gave Nadal break point, but an ace brought deuce back.  That shot into the net again.  Ace saved it again.  Volley into the net.  Third break chance.  Ace saved it again.  Finally serve held 1-0
Two Swiss forehand winners and 0-30.  Another one for break point.  Nadal forehand error and the break.  2-0 Federer.

A love game from Federer for 3-0.  Two more break points with Nadal too much on the defensive, allowing Federer the freedom to go for his winners, and he wasn't missing.  Two good serves and deuce.  A third break chance with a forehand crosscourt winner. Ace saved that one.  Ultimately Nadal held 1-3.  4-1 Federer in about a minute without loss of a point.
Bad miss long from Nadal and 30-30.  Miss wide and break point.  Double break and Federer 5-1 serving for set.

Double fault and break point.  Saved with forehand winner.  Set point.  Saved with silly Federer drop shot attempt.  Second break point saved.  Set point again.  Won 6-1.
Nadal would need to go five to win.

Set four and Nadal served the first game.  A Federer return winner squeezed between two Nadal points.  30-15.  Clutch serving and 1-0 Nadal.
Federer tied it at 1-1, a backhand winner the final shot.  Nadal mixed his serve up well, one aimed at the body setting up a clean winner. 2-1 Spain.

Two Federer errors and a Nadal forehand winner set up three break points.  One saved, but not the next, Nadal forcing Federer to hit the net.  3-1 Nadal.  
40-15 became deuce after Federer winner and Nadal error.  Nadal held serve with a wonderful forehand winner from what was just about point of the match. 4-1

Roger drew a pair of aces from his pack of cards before Rafa hit a backhand winner and Roger hit one out of Melbourne Park.  A Swiss forehand error and break point.  Saved with a third ace.  A fourth ace win the game. 2-4.
Fine serving for the ninth seed, finished with an ace, to take him to 5-2.

A Nadal backhand return winner and Federer error 30-30.  Ace for game point.  Another miss wide by Federer and deuce.  Game to the seventeenth seed and Nadal serving for the set 5-3.
Two free points and 30-0.  Service winner and three set points.  Set to Nadal 6-3

A fifth set required.  Federer serving first.
0-30 following Nadal winner and Federer error.  Federer winner and 15-30.  Break points with another Nadal winner.  Federer forehand saved one.  Federer pushed one wide and Nadal broke for 1-0.  15-30 after bad Nadal miss and Federer winner.  Two break pointe following Federer backhand.  One saved with netted backhand.  Second gone with Nadal forehand winner.  Lucky net cord and another break point.  Saved with a genuine winner.  Another in the same place.  Game to Nadal.  And a strong service hold 2-0.

Federer to 40-0 with some sweet ground strokes for winners.  Held for 1-2.  Spanish double fault and 30-15.  Swiss backhand winner and 30-30.  Federer put another into the net.  Deuce after Nadal hit one out of court.  Break back point with a backhand winner.  Saved with a Nadal backhand.  Another vital hold 3-1 Nadal.

30-15 with Federer forehand winner.  A repeat and two game points.  Just one needed and 2-3.  0-30 with Federer backhand winner and Nadal error.  Two excellent points from Nadal and 30-30. Break point after one hit long by Nadal.  Great serve and follow up winner to save it.  Swiss backhand and another break point.  Break back and 3-3.

Love game and Federer led 4-3.  0-30 with two errors from Nadal.  Double fault and that could be the match.  Three break points.  One saved.  And the second.  Deuce after a Federer shocker.  Break point with a Federer forehand winner.  That was the point of the match.  Saved with a magic serve.  Another break point.  The break came and Federer would be serving for the match at 5-3.

Return winner 0-15.  Federer missed 0-30.  Ace for 15-30.  Rafa wins with volley at the net. Two break points.  Ace and 30-40.  Deuce with forehand winner.  Match point.
Saved.  Ace and second match point.  Forehand winner for the match.

Roger Federer won the 2017 Australian Open in five sets 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3.

He now has 18 Grand Slam titles.

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