Roger Federer posed with his Australian Open trophy in Melbourne on Monday, January 29 after winning the title six times and clenching a very "special" 20 grand slam title. "Last year I felt more straight forward, you know, it was just disbelief, couldn't believe it happened and there I was waking up with the trophy. I don't know, this year seems more surreal," he said.
Federer, a nervous defending champion, survived a second set 'freeze' and a late rally by sixth seed Marin Cilic before winning 6-2 6-7(5) 6-3 3-6 6-1 under the closed roof of Rod Laver Arena. After a five-year drought, a rejuvenated Federer has bagged three grand slam titles in the past 12 months, emulating Australia's Ken Rosewall who claimed the same number after his 35 birthday.
Since his maiden major title at Wimbledon in 2003, several generations of young pretenders have come and gone, yet Federer has outlasted them all. He has now shared the last five grand slam titles with 31-year-old Spanish great and long-time rival Rafael Nadal, a state of affairs, the Swiss said, he could scarcely believe.