Abuja – Roger Federer won his 18th Grand Slam title and his first in five years with a thrilling five-set victory over Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final on Sunday.
The 35-year-old Swiss won 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 to claim his fifth Melbourne title and extend his lead at the top of the all-time men’s major winners’ list.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 30-year-old Nadal remains tied in second with Pete Sampras on 14 Grand Slams following his first final since 2014.
Federer’s previous major title came at Wimbledon in 2012.
His achievement in ending that drought is all the more remarkable given this was his first tournament since Wimbledon last July.
He had taken the second half of the season off to recover from a knee injury.
Federer becomes the first man in history to win five or more titles at three different Grand Slam events — five Australian Opens, five US Opens, seven Wimbledons.
Nadal was also on the way back from injuries which curtailed his 2016 season, but the Spaniard could not improve his winning record against Federer.
The Swiss has now won 12 of their 35 matches and three of nine major finals.