Roger Federer beats Marin Cilic to win Australian Open title

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A tearful Roger Federer powered home to beat Marin Cilic in five riveting sets to win his sixth Australian Open and 20th Grand Slam title on Sunday.

The Swiss defending champion dropped his only sets of the tournament before completing a 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over the sixth seeded Croatian in 3hr 3min.

Federer, playing in his 30th Grand Slam final, joined Novak Djokovic and Australian great Roy Emerson as joint top for the most Australian Open men’s titles.

“I’m so happy it’s unbelievable. This is a dream come true, the fairytale continues for me,” Federer said at the presentation.

“After the great year last year, it’s incredible,” the 36-year-old added as he broke down in tears.

Federer added to his already imposing win-loss record in Melbourne and is now 94-13. His overall his Grand Slam mark stands at 332-52.

“It was an amazing journey to come to the final. It could have been the best two weeks of my life, but Roger played a great fifth set,” Cilic said.

“I want to thank my team, you’re unbelievable. We worked hard for this year, hopefully we will lift these trophies in the future.”

The roof was closed over Rod Laver Arena as the tournament’s heat policy was implemented amid evening temperatures of 38 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit).

Cilic’s serve came under immediate pressure with a whipping backhand return winner for break point which the Croatian followed with a smash into the net for a break in the opening game.

The Croat was finding it difficult to settle and changed racquets in his second service game, but it had no obvious benefit as he dropped serve again after three break points to trail 0-3.

He finally held serve to get on the board but the Swiss star was too good, serving out the set in just 24 minutes after a shaky Cilic opening.

Federer fought off two break points in his opening service in the second set with pinpoint serves, while Cilic had a tussle before holding in the third game.

Cilic worked his way back into the match as both players traded furious forehands to stay on serve.

Cilic was break point down in the ninth, but crucially got out of it with a second serve ace down the middle followed by a forehand winner.

The Croat had a big moment in the 10th game when two Federer double faults gave him set point, but a tentative backhand into the net and a wild backhand cost him his chance.

In the tiebreaker, Cilic got to two set points when his forehand clipped the line before a winning smash levelled the match as Federer dropped his first set of the tournament.

But Cilic lost serve on the back of a couple of ground stroke errors and Federer raced 4-2 up in the third set.

The defending champion shifted gears with a stunning forehand off his toes and confidently held serve to lead 5-2 before clinically serving out the set in 29 minutes.

Cilic was then broken in the opening game of the fourth set with a poor backhand dropshot into the net as Federer closed in for the kill.

But the Croat broke back in the sixth game with three break points when Federer netted and fought off a break point in the next game to put his nose in front.

Cilic was now more in the flow and broke Federer again with his big forehands starting to find their mark. He served it out to take the absorbing final into a fifth.

But Federer stayed calm and produced quality backhands to hold on to his serve amid mounting tension.
The world No.2 crucially broke to 2-0 and got a vital double break when Cilic netted a forehand, leaving him to serve out for the championship.

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Australian Open 2018 fashions hits and misses: The adidas jumpsuit, Nike's hot pink and Hydrogen's howler

Reem Abulleil 28/01/2018

Another Grand Slam comes to a close and we can't move on just yet before weighing in on the fashion hits and misses at the opening major of the year.

Many players brought their A-game to the 'Happy Slam' Down Under, but others perhaps tried a little too hard -- or more like their clothing sponsors did.

From Nike's hot pink, to the Mizuno fluorescent... the tournament at Melbourne Park was certainly a bright one.

Here's a look at some of the most memorable outfits from the 2018 Australian Open. THE HITS
The adidas romper gets points for creativity and style. Not so much for the obvious sweat patches. We're not sure how easy it was to get in and out of, and it probably added a few minutes to those mid-match toilet breaks, but we still give it a thumbs up and hope we see more jumpsuits on tour. (We'll always give credit to Alize Lim for her romper game). Whether worn with the sleeveless top or the t-shirt, the Nike shorts look was brilliant in its class and simplicity. Madison Keys, Caroline Garcia, Elina Svitolina and Elena Vesnina were just some of the women to rock that number in Melbourne. We love a good old classic Sergio Tacchini shirt any day of the week. Mate Pavic won the men's doubles title on Sunday wearing one, while Goran Ivanisevic sported the same look in Legends' action this past fortnight. The Fila pleated skirt, donned by Ashleigh Barty, Timea Babos and others, combined the brand's classic palette of red, white and navy, with a contemporary twist. Nike's variations on the hot pink grew on us as the tournament progressed. Roger Federer said he was part of the reason the brand kitted up their players in that colour and we must say most of them wore it well. The New Balance kit worn by the likes of Heather Watson and Nicole Gibbs had beautiful details. From the white stitched trim, to the front slit, to the cool racerback, this outfit was a winner. The sky blue striped kit from adidas that Alexander Zverev wore was a sleek choice. Shame we didn't see much of it.   THE MISSES Fabio Fognini has done many unforgivable things on a tennis court in the past. This is another one. An inexplicable design from Hydrogen! Maria Sharapova's dress with mesh sleeves and inserts is a creative design from Nike and would make for a great outfit for a fancy brunch out. Not so much for sweating it out on a tennis court in 40-degree weather. The Mizuno neon yellow kit was not easy on the eyes, especially on the doubles court. Also seen in singles on Tennys Sandgren, while Malek Jaziri took it a step further by going neon AND sleeveless. Baking under the scorching Melbourne sun, Andre Agassi chose this black Nike hat to protect him. We sympathise with everyone who braved the Australian Open heat, but we argue that surely Agassi could have come up with a better option. While we don't disagree with Andy Murray that for Rafael Nadal, "sleeveless is better", we must say that Nike's twist on their hot pink look for the Spaniard was more sleepwear than activewear.

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Caroline Wozniacki beats Simona Halep to win Australian Open title

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Caroline Wozniacki finally lifted her first Grand Slam title at the 43rd attempt as she beat Simona Halep 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 6-4 to win the Australian Open on Saturday.

The Dane, who will take over as world number one, burst into tears as she secured the title against the battling Romanian top seed on her first match point of a gruelling, epic encounter.

Both players needed medical attention on court before the Dane prevailed in 2hr 49min in energy-sapping hot and humid conditions on Rod Laver Arena.

Wozniacki, 27, has long carried the unwanted moniker of best player never to win a major, having reached the US Open final in 2009 and 2014, and first becoming number one in 2010.

Both of them were in their third major final — their first in Australia — and both had saved match points in earlier rounds to get there.

Wozniacki started the stronger and broke Halep’s opening service game with the early evening temperature still above 30 Celsius (86 Farenheit).

The Dane sped into a 3-0 lead behind a consistent first serve.

Wozniacki had not won a set in either of her previous two Grand Slam final appearances and tightened visibly serving for this one at 5-3. Halep aggressively took advantage and moved to three break points at 0-40.

A big second serve and a first ace saved two of them but the relentless Halep forced Wozniacki long with a sliced forehand and the final was back on serve.

In the tiebreak the Dane went 4-1 up before a second mini-break and two solid serves gave her the tiebreak 7-2.

Wozniacki was growing in confidence and Halep needed to save four break points at 1-1 in the second set in a brutal game that lasted 11 minutes.

Soon after Halep signalled to her coach Darren Cahill in the player’s box that she wasn’t feeling well and there were worrying scenes as she had her blood pressure taken and an ice towel applied in the next changeover.

Halep re-emerged with her energy drained and needed the luckiest of net cords to hold for 4-3.

Cramping and almost limping, she decided to stand and deliver in the next game, keeping the points short.

Incredibly the tactic paid off as she broke Wozniacki with a ripping drive up the line and served at 5-3 to level the match.

Wozniacki forced two break back points which Halep saved, before levelling on her third set point.

The tournament’s extreme heat policy was invoked meaning the players took a 10-minute break before the start of the third set.

When they resumed Wozniacki held before wearing Halep down with a series of long rallies and securing the break for 2-0 as the match clock hit the two-hour mark.

Halep dug deep and got it back to 2-1 on her sixth break point of a gruelling game when Wozniacki double-faulted after almost 12 minutes.

Both players were feeling the heat and two more breaks of serve were exchanged as they struggled to find any rhythm until Halep held for 3-3.

Wozniacki’s weaker forehand let her down twice from deuce and Halep led for the first time in the match at 4-3.

Now it was the turn of the Dane to call the physio. With her left knee freshly strapped she broke Halep yet again to level at 4-4.

Finally, having not held since the first game of the third set Wozniacki managed it again and crucially led 5-4 with Halep having to serve to stay in the match.

She couldn’t manage it and a backhand into the net brought an end to her brave challenge.

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