Emotional Roger Federer moves fans with teary speech after epic Open win
Jan 30 2018 by Dustin Murphy
What makes this title more impressive is that after many considered the G.O.A.T to no longer be a contender in Grand Slams, he has now won three of the last five major tournaments (2017 and 2018 Australian Open and 2017 Wimbledon).
Cilic couldn't take advantage of his opponent's sour mood, double faulting twice to gift Federer a break and a 2-0 advantage.
"Big congratulations to Roger and his team - it's unbelievable what you guys do", said the sixth-seeded Cilic, who will rise to a career-high No. 3 in the world rankings on Monday.
"I've won three Slams now in 12 months", he said. He beat Cilic in his last grand slam final, at Wimbledon, with a far different feel to the match.
Federer will now take time to decide on his schedule, with the most pressing issue being whether he will play in Dubai at the end of February.
Jubilant after posting a record 20th grand slam victory, Federer said there are multiple factors behind his success - most significantly, his wife Mirka. I think that's what's going to dictate how successful I will be.
After the match, Cilic congratulated Federer, and he called the Open the "best two weeks of my life". "Things must be all right if I haven't dropped a set and in the final", he said ahead of the evening match on Rod Laver Arena. He has declared that he will take part in the Australian Open next year as well which means he has at least 4 more Grand Slams at hand to win the 21st title. It was a similar end to his five-set win over Rafael Nadal in Melbourne previous year and, just like 12 months ago, the tears flowed.
"After the great year I had last year", he added, taking a deep breath and holding back tears, "It's incredible". But Cilic still found a way to up his game in the second set, winning a decisive tie-break.
Speaking later about why it was such a meaningful moment for him, Federer admitted that he found it hard to hit upon any topic that was not "very meaningful and very emotional" for him, the Herald Sunreported. Cilic tried everything, including changing his racquet but it was of no use, as Federer ran away with the set 6-2.
His emotional victory in Sunday put him alongside Novak Djokovic and Australian Roy Emerson with the most Australian titles at six.
Cilic overcame Federer on the way to winning the 2014 US Open final, but it remains his only win in 10 encounters.
But he can't see the "best player of all time" matching even the open-era record 23 singles slams of Serena Williams, let alone challenging Court's benchmark.
But throughout it all was a brilliant moment Federer shared with the man he just defeated.