Federer wins 20th major in underwhelming fashion

Before I get into the emptiness the Australian Open had for fans, the fact that Roger Federer is still winning majors at the age of 36 is a remarkable feat. A tennis player’s career rarely makes it past the age of 32 with any success, but Federer is proving Father Time wrong.

It’s hard to complain about a five-set championship match, but the match never seemed to be out of Federer’s control. The sets that he did win were won in commanding fashion (6-2, 6-3, 6-1). Marin Cilic gave Federer a few scares in the second and fourth sets, but as Roger has proved time and again—when he needs to buckle down and hold serve or win a break point—he will get it done.

Cilic gave Federer all that he could handle, but he clearly ran out of gas in the last set. You have to play a perfect match to beat Federer, but it’s not easy when he hits shots like this:

The underwhelming part of the tournament wasn’t the finals but Federer’s road to the finals. The draw for the Australian Open contained a good amount of intrigue with possible early-round meetings between quality players.

With early exits from Stan Wawrinka, David Goffin, Alexander Zverev and Sam Querrey, the road for Federer became increasingly easier. Not to mention the absence of Andy Murray and Ken Nishikori, who didn’t play because of injury.

After the early exits and an injury-ridden field, fans were looking forward to a 2017 final rematch between Federer and Rafael Nadal—a matchup that never disappoints. The anticipation for that final quickly disappeared when Nadal pulled out of his quarterfinal matchup against Cilic with a hip injury.

Federer cruised to the finals without losing a set while Cilic battled the week prior against Pablo Carreno Busta and Nadal just to make it there. Federer’s energy reserves were apparent in the five-set final.

For now, all tennis fans can do is wait and hope for a healthier, deeper field for the French Open at the end of May.

 

(Main photo credit:Luttiau Nicholas/USA TODAY Sports)

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