Wednesday 21 February 2018 / 02:04 PM


As the Australian Open gets underway, all-time greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are regarded merely as outside chances of adding to their grand slam tally after slipping well behind the likes of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka in recent years.

But the modern legends produced one of the greatest finals in Australian Open history in 2009, a five-set epic that saw Nadal claim his only title in Melbourne and deny Federer a fourth.

The first Spaniard to win the Australian Open, Nadal prevailed 7–5, 3–6, 7–6 (7–3), 3–6, 6–2 in a wildly fluctuating encounter, finding something extra in reserve every time the Swiss machine fought back.

A tearful Federer would be back in 2010 to win his fourth – and, to date, last – Australian Open crown with a straight-sets win over Murray, while Nadal has lost a pair of finals since, to Murray (2012) and Wawrinka (2014).

[YouTube – Australian Open TV]

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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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