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Posted: January 28, 2018

Roger Federer becomes first man to win 20 Grand Slam singles titles

Roger Federer holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after winning the 2018 Australian Open men's singles final against Marin Cilic of Croatia on Sunday.
Michael Dodge/Getty Images
Roger Federer holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after winning the 2018 Australian Open men's singles final against Marin Cilic of Croatia on Sunday.

By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

MELBOURNE, Australia —

Roger Federer became the first man to win 20 Grand Slam tennis singles titles Sunday, defeating Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7 (7-5), 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 to capture his record-tying sixth Australian Open championship.

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Federer tied Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic with his sixth Australian crown and has won three of the last five major tournaments, ESPN reported.

“I'm so happy. It's unbelievable,” said Federer, who broke down in tears after the victory. “Of course, winning is an absolute dream come true -- the fairy tale continues for me.

“After the great year I had last year, it's incredible.”

In addition to his six Australian Open titles, Federer’s Grand Slam résumé includes eight Wimbledon titles, five U.S. Open championships and one French Open title. 

Sunday’s victory meant that Federer, at 36 years and 173 days, is the second-oldest man to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era. Ken Rosewall won the 1972 Australian Open when he was 37.

Federer has spent 302 weeks ranked No. 1 in the world during his career and now owns 96 titles. 

“Big congratulations to Roger and his team -- it's amazing what you guys do," Cilic said. "It was an amazing journey for me to come here to the final. I had a slight chance at the beginning of the fifth (set), but Roger played a great fifth set.”

Federer now owns a 9-1 record against Cilic, including a victory in last year’s Wimbledon final.

Tennis greats weighed in with their congratulations.

Tennis greats weighed in with their congratulations.

“Nobody makes me cry like Roger Federer,” tweeted Chris Evert, an 18-time Grand Slam winner and two-time Australian Open women’s singles title winner. “No one. … there is no one like him.”

“Congratulations Roger -- the GOAT!!” tweeted Martina Navratilova, another 18-time Grand Slam champion who won three women’s titles in Australia.

Billie Jean King added her best wishes as well, tweeting “Congratulations to @rogerfederer@AustralianOpen men’s singles champion and GOAT!”

Meanwhile, Rod Laver, who won 11 Grand Slams and three titles in his native Australia, called the six Australian titles won by Federer, Emerson and Djokovic as “Astonishing then, incredible now.”


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