Sunday, 29 January 2017

Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal: Australian Open men's final

Fifth set: Federer 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 5-3 Nadal* (*denotes server): Federer cutely dinks a spinning, low backhand slice over the net from left to right, luring Nadal forward. Nadal can only send his forehand long. He’s coming under heavy fire now. Federer’s forehand is purring. Nadal’s forced to miss another and it’s 0-30. This is a huge point. Nadal double-faults! Federer has three break points! Nadal saves the first with a storming forehand down the line. He saves the second with a big serve that Federer sends long. He saves the third when Federer shanks a backhand return wide off a second serve! Unbelievable. It’s deuce. Then a point that takes us right back to Wimbledon 2008! It lasts an age, these two great old warriors throwing everything at each other, and it ends with Federer producing a peach of a forehand down the line to seize another break point. But Nadal is made of steel. A massive serve down the middle saves him, but Federer comes up with another inspired forehand to earn a fifth opportunity. This time, he returns brilliantly, a low crosscourt backhand forcing Nadal to spank a forehand into the net post! Federer breaks! He’ll serve for the title! His 18th grand slam title!

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