Everything came together Sunday night in Melbourne as Roger claimed his 18th Grand Slam title. After 5 grueling sets against Rafael Nadal, Roger was victorious and clinched his 5th Australian Open. In his first tour-level event after a six-month injury lay-off, the Swiss Maestro seemed to be having a fateful fortnight in Melbourne which led to a final featuring an epic battle against good friend and long-time rival, Rafael Nadal. The match proved to be nothing short of thrilling as the two battled deep into the 5th set. Roger came through victorious with a final score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. “I’m out of words,” he said, after receiving the trophy from Rod Laver. “I'd like to congratulate Rafa on an amazing comeback. There are no draws in tennis, but I would have been very happy to accept one and share it with Rafa tonight. The comeback had been perfect as it was.” This win puts Roger at 18 Grand Slam Titles and back into the Top 10.
Roger solidifies the fact that he is one of the greatest players of all time by becoming the first active player to win 200 matches against Top 10 opponents after beating Kei Nishikori in the 2017 Australian Open. "It's great," he said following his victory over Nishikori. "I didn't know it going in. I just know I played a lot of tennis. Obviously I want to play really well against the best players. I was able to do that sometimes, but tonight was special, no doubt about it. Going five against Kei here on Rod Laver Arena with the comeback, it's definitely very special. A fitting way to celebrate that milestone." Roger has defeated 41 different top 10 players including a long list of former World No. 1s.
Losing just ten games on Friday, Roger took out 10th seed, Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 at the Australian Open. He only needed 90 minutes to dispose of the Czech player and never allowed him to see a break point dropping just 14 points in 14 service games. “It's just crazy how quick I got out of the blocks,” Federer said of his third-round display after his stuttering start to the Open. “That's what I was hoping for, because I wasn't able to do that in the first two matches. Today I was able to. What a difference it was in the feeling afterwards. Next for Roger will be the 5th seed, Kei Nishikori, who struggled in his opening match in Melbourne but won 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to recieve his bid into the round of 16.
Roger looked comfortable on the court as he took out another qualifier to reach the 3rd round of the Australian Open. Starting strong, Roger was in control for the majority of the match against 20-year old Noah Rubin until he found himself down a break at 3-5 in the 3rd set. Roger dug his heels in, broke back and servedhis way to a 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 victory. "He's a great fighter...he's aggressive on the ball and I think he hadthe upper hand on the baseline," Federer said after the match against Rubin. "I think my serving kept me in the match today...I'm happy I got through somehow." Roger next matches up against 10th seed Tomas Berdych. The last time the two played was in the 2016 Australian Open where Roger defeated Berdych 7-6, 6-2,6-4.
Dropping just one set in his opening round, the 17-time Grand Slam Champion looked solid back on the courts in Melbourne. Roger beat Austrian qualifier, Jurgen Melzer 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Monday. The matchup was bittersweet as Melzer, an ATP veteran as well, played just four tour events in 2016 due to a shoulder injury. “ Iwas expecting to play a young guy in the first round because there were a lotof young guys qualifying,” Federer said. “To play Jurgen was cool. We know eachother since we were 16. We used to play doubles together at the Orange Bowl back at Flamingo Park in Miami. We go way back.” Next up for Roger will be Noah Rubin, the 20-year old American.