KEY MOMENTS FROM THE 2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN FINAL
3-3: Federer’s sharp backhand jars up Nadal. He rushes the net to put away the point with a graceful backhand volley, using the momentum to claim the match’s first break.
5-4 Federer: The 35-year-old strikes a 175km/hour ace out wide to win the first set.
1-0 Nadal: Federer’s serve is breached for the first time. The Swiss rails an attempted passing shot into the net and then serves poorly as the Spaniard pounce.
2-0 Nadal: Federer makes a half volley at full strength and smashes a winner as John McEnroe says “it does not get any better than that at the net”.
3-0 Nadal: Nadal sees Federer’s serve coming, sending a booming backhand into the corner and setting up three break points. He takes a 4-0 lead when Federer sends another forehand wide.
4-2 Nadal: Despite giving up one of his two breaks, Nadal holds twice more to put the match back on level terms.
1-0 Federer: Explosive running from Federer sets up a huge forehand winner. Rod Laver applauds from the crowd and Federer goes on to seize the break.
5-1 Federer: Another stupendous crosscourt backhand from Federer’s racquet. An exquisite drop volley takes him to the fourth set carrying all the momentum.
3-1 Nadal: The point of the match. Both players spend time hitting from outside the doubles lines and a long rally is ended by Nadal with a forehand of jaw-dropping quality and angle. Federer applauds and the 30-year-old fist-pumps to his box.
5-3 Nadal: Nadal doesn’t give Federer a look-in on his serve, sending down three unreturnable serves to send the classic match into a fifth set.
1-0 Nadal: After breaking Federer in the opening game, Nadal consolidates with a mammoth run-around forehand down the line, steadying for a 2-0 lead.
3-2 Nadal: Federer has three break points to get back on terms but is denied each time by the determined Nadal – but not the fourth time as the Spaniard fires a forehand long.
4-3 Federer: After holding his serve to love to heap pressure back on Nadal, Federer roars to 0-40 to put the Spaniard on the rack. He saves all three break points. Federer thrashes a down-the-line winner to claim a 26-point rally on deuce but Nadal responds with an unreturnable serve. A fifth break point proves too tough and Federer is on his way.
5-3 Federer: Drama as Federer appears to double fault on championship point, until his challenge sees it overturned. He loses the replay but earns another match point from the following deuce. Nadal can’t return his wide serve and calls his own challenge – leading to the most awkward of delays before Hawkeye confirms Federer as champion.