Roger Federer wins Australian Open, his 18th Grand Slam title

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DUSHANBE, 30.01.2017. /NIAT Khovar/. Roger Federer has won his 18th Grand Slam title and put some extra distance on the all-time list between himself and Rafael Nadal, the man he beat 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in a vintage Australian Open final on Sunday, according to WGN-TV.

It was the 35-year-old Federer's fifth Australian title, his first at a major since Wimbledon in 2012, and it reversed the status quo against his nemesis, Nadal.

Federer had lost six of the previous eight Grand Slam finals he'd played against Nadal, and had only previously beaten the left-handed Spaniard in 11 of their 34 matches.

Both players were returning from extended layoffs for injuries � Federer the left knee; Nadal the left wrist � and were seeded 17th and ninth respectively.

Nadal remains equal second with Pete Sampras on the all-time list, with the last of his 14 majors coming at Roland Garros in 2014.

There was much mutual respect following the Australian Open final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, with both players commending each other for better-than-expected comebacks from their respective injuries.

Nadal missed chunks of last season with an injured wrist and Federer was sidelined during the second half of the year with an injured knee.

Just amazing, the way he's playing after such a long time without him being on the tour, Nadal said of Federer. It's just very difficult to make that happen.

The 14-time major winner said he's also pleased with his play in Australia, saying he's back at a very high level.

I'm going to keep fighting during the whole season and for sure, to come back here for many years and keep trying to have this trophy, Nadal said. That is the third time that I have (the runner-up trophy). This is beautiful but still much better the trophy.

Federer was also impressed by Nadal's return from injury, saying he would have been content if the Spaniard had gotten the victory, too.

I would have been happy to lose too, to be honest, he said. Tennis is a tough sport, there's no draws. If there was going to be one, I would have been happy to have it tonight and share it with Rafa, really.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan