Such icons! We’ve waited since 2011 for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to meet up in a tennis Grand Slam final, and what a show they put on at the Australian Open on Jan. 29. Keep reading for more on how Roger battled for the win in their storied rivalry.
We couldn’t have asked for a more incredible final at the Australian Open, as Switzerland’s Roger Federer, 35, and Spain’s Rafael Nadal, 30, went head to head in a battle for the ages on Jan. 29! For years these two were the top ranked men’s players in the world, but time and injuries have kept them from meeting up in a Grand Slam title match since way back in 2011. They knew how much tennis fans were anticipating their long-awaited reunion and boy did they deliver. Ultimately it was Roger that came out on top after a blistering 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, victory.
Roger relied heavily on his backhand during the match and was able to keep Rafa from destroying his rhythm the way he has in the past. “He did not surprise me,” Rafa said after the match. “He was playing aggressively, and I understand that in a match against me. I don’t think it would have been intelligent to try to get into too many long rallies from the baseline. I don’t think he would have won. He went for it, and it was the right thing for him to do.”
Fans were quick to congratulate Roger on his win, the 5th Australian Open title and 18th Grand Slam title of his career! “Never again can any ever say @rogerfederer backhand is a liability this “weaker” shot won him his 18 Grand Slam,” one wrote. “SLAY KING,” another crowned him.
— Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka) January 29, 2017
— pk's world (@SourceSyndicate) January 29, 2017
— lindsey vonn (@lindseyvonn) January 29, 2017
This was a final that tennis fans everywhere have been hoping for, but never thought we’d see again. Both of these guys ruled the sport for four years between 2005-2009 where they alternated being the number one seed in the ATP. It felt like old times to see these two battle it out on the court, and they knew how much it meant to tennis fans to see them play each other in a big match after all these years. “It is a very special thing for both of us to be playing again in a major final. Neither of us probably thought we would be here again,” Rafa said before the match.
The Spaniard made it to the finals in one of the most grueling matches of the tournament, beating 25-year-old Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov on Jan. 27 in a five hour, five set marathon. He fell to the ground and nearly wept with joy after winning 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-4, making it into his first Grand Slam final since 2014. That alone was a huge achievement.
We’re so proud of both men and their incredible accomplishment of making it into the Australian Open final. They’ve given so much to the sport for well over a decade and it was a true pleasure to see them play in a big match again.
HollywoodLifers, are you happy that Roger won? What did you think of the incredible match?