Federer Downs Nadal; Wins 18th Grand Slam

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Roger Federer won his 18th Grand Slam title and first for five years with a thrilling five-set victory over Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final.

The 35-year-old Swiss won 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 to claim his fifth Melbourne title and extend his lead at the top of the all-time men’s major winners’ list.

Nadal, 30, remains tied in second with Pete Sampras on 14 Grand Slams following his first final since 2014.

His achievement in ending that drought is all the more remarkable given this was his first tournament since Wimbledon last July, after which he took the second half of the season off to recover from a knee injury.

Federer becomes the first man in history to win five or more titles at three different Grand Slam events – five Australian Opens, five US Opens, seven Wimbledons.

Nadal was also on the way back from injuries that curtailed his 2016 season, but the Spaniard could not improve his winning record against Federer – the Swiss has now won 12 of their 35 matches and three of nine major finals.

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