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Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal - Australian Open Final as it happened

  • The two tennis heavyweights met for the first time in a Grand Slam final since 2011.
  • Federer emerged victorious in five sets and has now won 18 Grand Slams.
  • Nadal, who is still stuck on 14 Grand Slams, was so close to victory but can be happy with his performance.
Federer and Nadal

There we have it. Roger Federer has won the 18th Grand Slam of his career after beating his old foe and friend Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final.

It wouldn't be a 'Fedal' clash without it going to five sets. Both men made a case to win the title but Federer stands tall as a worthy winner. How great was it to see two tennis legends producing some phenomenal play on one of the sport's biggest stages, when none thought it would ever happen again.

Have a great afternoon.

Federer and Nadal

Federer: "I'm out of words, I'd like to congratulate Rafa on an amazing comeback. I don't think we believed we would be in this final four or five months ago. I would have been happy to lose too to be honest.

"Tennis is a tough sport with no draws but I would love to have shared this with Rafa tonight. Keep playing Rafa, please, tennis needs you.

"This was a wonderful run and I can't be more happy to have won tonight."

Nadal and Federer

Nadal: "Congratulations to Roger and his team, it's amazing the way he's playing after such a long time. Well done, I feel very happy for you.

"For me it's been a great month, I really enjoyed this beautiful country and fantastic people. Here in Melbourne, it was always be in my heart. I work very hard to be where I am today, I think it was a great match, Roger deserved it a little bit more than me.

"I feel I am back at a very level and will keep fighting through the whole season."

Nadal and federer
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This is what the victory meant to Federer.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
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Rod Laver is out to present the trophy in his own arena.

Federer is in tears, Nadal disconsolate. It's the first time Federer has beaten Nadal in Australia.

It wasn't quite Wimbledon 2008, but it was a simply sensational game of tennis.

Fifth set: 6-3 (Federer on serve) - Roger Federer has done the Australian Open final!

Nadal's double handed backhand goes unanswered by Federer, who overcooks a backhand and gifts Nadal a 0-30 lead. He responds well with an ace but Nadal works him around the court and manages to secure two break points.

Another ace halves the deficit before a Federer special ties it up at deuce. Nadal can't get his return right as Federer gains advantage but he sends his forehand long past the baseline.

Another ace gives Federer set point, and this time, after confirmation from Hawkeye, he follows through. An incredible, gruelling bout of tennis, ending up with Federer winning his 18th Grand Slam.

Fifth set: 5-3 (Nadal on serve) - Federer breaks Nadal!

An incredible shot from Federer gives Nadal no chance. The 35-year-old seems to have shaken off his thigh complaint and powers around the court as he goes 0-30 up.

A double fault from Nadal at the worst possible time gives Federer three break points. Nadal refuses to be beaten though and sends a thunderous forehand down the line. Federer then overcooks his return and hacks at a Nadal second serve to take the game to deuce.

One of the best rallies tennis has ever witnessed ends in Federer delivering a forehand down the line. Nadal returned all manner of shots and looked to be on top but his old foe bested him, somehow.

An incredible serve from Nadal has Federer beaten all ends up. The Swiss works the Manacor man around the court and secures another break point, and this time he manages to follow through. The crowd are in raptures, Federer's serving for the title.

Fifth set: 4-3 (Federer on serve)

Federer kicks things off with an ace, his 16th of the match. He then surges to the net to volley before delivering another serve which Nadal can't return. Another ace gives Federer the game and momentum.

Fifth set: 3-3 (Nadal on serve) - Federer breaks back!

Federer battles through the pain and responds to everything Nadal sends his way. He roars as the Spaniard sends a forehand into the net but doesn't time a forehand correctly.

Nadal sends Federer almost out the stadium with a wide serve but sends one long and gives his opponent a crucial break point. But Nadal finds something within him - which he so often does - to bring the game to deuce. Federer zooms a backhand across court to gain advantage and sees a Nadal shot wide to level up the final set.

Fifth set: 2-3 (Federer on serve)

Federer mixes backhands and slices but Nadal surges to the net and powers past his old enemy. A classic serve-and-volley from Federer makes it 40-15, and the veteran holds out to stay in touch.

Fifth set: 1-3 (Nadal on serve)

Federer fails to find a winner as he looks to keep points short early on. Nadal watches one out for 30-0 but produces his second double fault of the match.

Federer is not moving as freely as he was earlier but swept Nadal away with another sublime backhand. Nadal edges in front with another body serve but overcooks a forehand and the game goes to deuce.

Federer earns a break point with an eye-of-the-needle backhand but Nadal thunders a backhand across the court to level matters. Nadal then unleashes another body serve to win another game and mini battle.

Federer receives treatment to his upper right leg.

Fifth set: 1-2 (Federer on serve)

Nadal hacks wildly at a Federer second serve and 15-0 quickly becomes 30-0 thanks to 35-year-old's wondrous backhand.

Federer drags Nadal out wide and shows a wonderful touch to make it 40-0 before producing a lovely backhand to keep within touching distance of his old foe.

Fifth set: 0-2 (Nadal on serve)

Nadal shows excellent defence and overpowers Federer, who crept to the net once again. A careless forehand makes it 15-15 and Federer utilises the bounce off the net to make it 15-30.

The 35-year-old roars as he finds himself with two break points after finally executing a cross-court backhand, but he finds the net with another one soon after. Nadal capitalises and outfoxes Federer with an incredible curved forehand but the Swiss gain advantage as the net deflects in his favour.

Nadal calmly brings it back to deuce and produces some of his best tennis of the match to save three break points and hold serve.

Fifth set: 0-1 (Federer on serve) - Nadal breaks Federer!

Nadal comes close to the net and delivers a wondrous forehand down the line. Federer then finds the net after an arduous rally but conjures up a forehand after Nadal put up a short return.

Another sensational forehand from a fired up Nadal, who seems to be smelling blood, gives the Spaniard two break points, but Federer halves the deficit as he looks to keep points short.

Nadal makes no mistake the second time around, though, and breaks Federer immediately in the final set.

Federer is currently taking a medical time-out. Nadal at his chair, legs shaking with nervous energy.

It wouldn't be a Federer-Nadal clash if it didn't go to five sets.

Nadal and Federer
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Fourth set: 3-6 (Nadal on serve) - NADAL WINS THE FOURTH SET

Nadal delivers another serve Federer can't return and watches a forehand out to establish himself at 30-0. The 30-year-old utilises the new balls excellently and gives himself three set points to work with, but with a forehand like that, he only needs one.

We're into a fifth set!

Fourth set: 3-5 (Federer on serve)

Federer hasn't seemed comfortable at all this set. Wayward shots allow Nadal a sniff of a break, and another poorly executed backhand results in deuce. The Swiss manages to edge the game out, but it wasn't pretty.

Nadal now serving for the set.

Fourth set: 2-5 (Nadal on serve)

Nadal watches a Federer forehand out and has seemed to have found a serve the Swiss doesn't like facing at all.

Federer regularly finds the net and has no reply for Nadal's last serve which results in his fourth ace of the match.

Fourth set: 2-4 (Federer on serve)

Federer starts things off with a couple of aces but Nadal regains ground with an almighty forehand. Federer somehow misses a high volley and his early dominance dissipates entirely as he finds the net to give the Spaniard a break point.

The Swiss executes an ace and take the game to deuce and forces Nadal into a Hollywood shot which he can't pull off. A final ace gives Federer the game.

Federer led the applause for Nadal's return. Shot of the match.

Nadal and Federer

Fourth set: 1-4 (Nadal on serve)

Erraticism suddenly in Federer's game now, he keeps trying the Hollywood shot but they are not paying off like they were in the third.

The Swiss gifts Nadal a 40-15 lead but reads his opponent and halves the deficit with a fiery forehand. Federer then pushes back Nadal and takes the game to deuce, but a wayward backhand allows the Spaniard to take advantage.

Federer brings it back to deuce with a commanding forehand after Nadal miscues a backhand, but the man from Manacor brings the crowd to its feet with a return that seemed impossible. That's just what he does.

Fourth set: 1-3 (Federer on serve) Nadal breaks Federer!

Federer opens up the court but lets Nadal off the hook with a wayward forehand on two occasions. 0-30 Nadal.

Nadal seizes his opportunity with a wondrous forehand down the line and breaks Federer, who only finds the net in response to the Spaniard's wonderfull cross-court forehand.

Fourth set: 1-2 (Nadal on serve)

Nadal starting to come to the net more and is reaping rewards. The King of the Clay keeps the points short and holds serve with relative ease.

Fourth set: 1-1 (Federer on serve)

Federer varies his play and comfortably takes his first service game of the fourth set. Finishes off the game with textbook backhand down the line. He's in full control at the moment.

Fourth set: 0-1 (Nadal on serve)

Federer's early returns cause havoc for Nadal again, but the Spaniard rides the storm and edges into a 30-15 lead.

The Swiss keeps taking time away from Nadal and is gliding around the court. The nine-time French Open winner digs deep and adds extra power which Federer eventually succumbs to. Strong start to the fourth set.

A photo of the lucky crowd watching in awe of two of the best athletes ever.

Australian Open

Third set: 6-1 (Federer on serve) - FEDERER WINS THE THIRD SET

Far from plain sailing for Federer, who coasted through some earlier service games. Nadal earns himself a break point but a new kind of forehand from Federer brings it to deuce.

Some erraticism creeps into Federer's play and allows Nadal to claw his way to advantage, but another serve-and-volley from the 35-year-old brings it back to deuce.

Some classy backhands from the Swiss give him the set and the lead once again. Just how important was Federer's first service game of the set? The momentum with him now.

Third set: 5-1 (Nadal on serve) Federer breaks Nadal!

Federer again trying to shorten the point but couldn't execute a drop shot. Nadal emerges the victor of a short rally packed full of quality but can only find the net when Federer produces another commanding backhand.

Federer battles hard to earn himself a break point and utilises it to full effect after returning a serve early and wrongfooting Nadal. Federer's backhand has improved remarkably and he is now serving for the set.

Third set: 4-1 (Federer on serve)

Another breeze for Federer on his service game. Some excellent shots, some effortless serves.

Third set: 3-1 (Nadal on serve)

Nadal finds the net on the first point but watches a Federer backhand out on the second. A simply sensational cross-court backhand from Federer edges him in front before an unplayable volley gives him two break points.

Nadal then wrongfoots Federer before a fabulous serve ties things up at deuce. An inch-perfect driven forehand from Federer gives him advantage, but Nadal switches up his serve and produces an ace.

Both men are fighting tooth and nail as advantages are given and taken away. Some exquisite shots are produced by both men, but in the end Nadal was the victor of a gruelling bout.

Third set: 3-0 (Federer on serve)

A mini-masterclass from Federer, who produces a Fedex special. Nothing Nadal can do.

Third set: 2-0 (Nadal on serve) - Federer breaks Nadal!

Federer produces another angled forehand and works Nadal around the court to make it 0-30. The Swiss does not seem interested in partaking in long rallies at the moment.

Nadal battles back as he always does to restore parity to the score, but Federer whips up the shot of the match with a forehand hit on the rise. Break point to Roger, who strikes first in the third set as Nadal finds the net.

Nadal and Federer

Third set: 1-0 (Federer on serve)

Federer was making light work of his first service game in the third set, racing into a 40-0 lead. But Nadal does what does best and fights back to make it deuce and remarkably gains the advantage when Federer's backhand finds the net.

Federer produces an ace when he needs it most to get it back to deuce but finds the net again and gifts Nadal advantage. Federer executes another ace to bring it back to a third deuce, but finds the net AGAIN as he surges up the court.

You guessed it. Federer aces once more and it's deuce for a fourth time. This time he finally takes advantage with an excellent backhand with topspin aplenty. Another sensational backhand gives Federer the game; just how important will this match prove to be psychologically for the two?

Second set: 3-6 (Nadal on serve) - NADAL WINS THE SECOND SET

Nadal races to 30-0 with a quite phenomenal left-handed forehand. Federer miscues a backhand to give Nadal three set points, and the Spaniard doesn't need a second invitation as he watches a forehand out and claims the second set.

Second set: 3-5 (Federer on serve)

Nadal executes a return from a Federer serve that's right in the very corner of the court, but his old foe surges to net to make it 15-15.

Nadal then finds the net with a backhand before Federer utilises the space left by the Spaniard and powers in a lovely backhand. The Swiss hits a cross-shot forehand to win the game. Nadal serving for the set.

Federer and Nadal
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Second set: 2-5 (Nadal on serve)

Nadal charges to 5-2 and holds his serve to love in an instant thanks to some erratic play from Federer, who is struggling to deal with his opponent's power.

Second set: 2-4 (Federer on serve)

Nadal tries an ambitious lob but just can't get it right. A simply marvellous rally containing some quite incredible groundstrokes ends up with Nadal finding the net, and the score is 40-0 within a matter of moments.

A sumptuous Nadal forehand and carelessness from Federer brings the score to 40-30, but the Swiss executes a superb forehand down the line to bring it back to 4-2.

Second set: 1-4 (Nadal on serve) Federer breaks back!

Federer races into two break points and is going hell for leather, knowing full well that the set is quickly slipping from his grasp.

Nadal pulls a point back before delivering a curved serve that Federer just can't handle. The 35-year-old executes a cross-shot forehand brilliantly to give himself one break point and takes advantage of Nadal chasing an aggressive forehand to claw one break back.

Second set: 0-4 (Federer on serve) Nadal breaks again!

Some carelessness from Federer and brilliance from Nadal gives the Spaniard three break points. Federer battles back to 30-40 but overcooks a cross-shot forehand and hands Nadal the impetus.

Second set: 0-3 (Nadal on serve)

Federer wildly hacks at a Nadal delivery and is then too far away from a sensational forehand from the Spaniard. 30-0.

Federer then hits a return ridiculously early, catching Nadal off-guard. A poor forehand into the net from Nadal makes it 30-30 and an overcooked backhand gives Federer a break point, which he fails to take advantage of.

The Swiss's backhand is a little bit erratic but he eventually regroups and gains advantage. Some brilliance from Nadal takes it back to deuce before he eventually holds serve. 3-0.

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Second set: 0-2 (Federer on serve) - Nadal breaks Federer!

A lesser spotted double fault from Federer gifts Nadal the lead, and a poorly executed backhand has the Spaniard 0-30 up.

Federer then surges to the net and gets lucky with as his forehand drops on Nadal's side and makes it 30-30, but Nadal anticipates the Swiss's forehand expertly to make it 30-40.

Federer takes it to deuce and a wonderful rally gives Nadal advantage, again the net playing a crucial role. Federer then takes undercooks a backhand and suffers a break of serve incredibly early in the second set. Game on.

Second set - 0-1 (Nadal on serve)

Federer judges an overhit Nadal backhand expertly but the Spaniard works his old foe around the court and cuts the second point short with a backhand slice.

Nadal is hitting the ball a lot harder as he looks to maintain a foothold in the match. A couple of simple points are followed by an ace, and Nadal holds serve.

The King of the Clay is not having the best of times in Sydney so far. As soon as Federer found some rhythm with his backhand there was only one real winner in the first set.

There's a lot for Nadal to ponder as he takes a comfort break.

Nadal and federer
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First set: 4-6 (Federer on serve) - FEDERER WINS THE FIRST SET

Federer rushes to the net but his exuberance fails him as Nadal pulls off a cross-court backhand. The Swiss then restores parity with an ace and gains the upper hand when Nadal fails to return his serve.

What a backhand from Federer to make it 40-15. The Swiss finishes the game and wins the set with an ace. Some truly marvellous tennis being produced by the all-encompassing 35-year-old.

First set: 4-5 (Nadal on serve)

Nadal hits a forehand into the net as Federer turns the screw. The Spaniard then executes a sensational forehand across the court before producing a stunning ace.

Federer misses a golden opportunity to make it 30-30 with a poor one-handed backhand, but Nadal rushes a simple shot and gives the Swiss encouragement. Nadal then wrongfoots Federer with a curved forehand, but he's working incredibly hard for his points.

First set: 3-5 (Federer on serve)

This is simply sensational tennis from Federer. He's moving through the gears and holds his serve to love.

Can the Swiss move in for the kill?

First set: 3-4 (Nadal on serve) - Federer breaks Nadal!

A quite astonishing return from Federer gives him an early advantage but another miscued backhand makes it 15-15. A simply marvellous rally is won by a Federer backhand down the line, and then another exquisite passage of play ends up in the Swiss earning two break points.

Nadal then overcooks a backhand and loses his first service game. Advantage Federer.

First set: 3-3 (Federer on serve)

Nadal is moving along the court incredibly but overcooks a backhand. Federer then produces a sumptuous forehand down the line before executing an elegant ace.

Nadal is wrongfooted - a rarity - and Federer holds his serve without conceding a point.

First set: 3-2 (Nadal on serve)

Nadal makes light work of his third service game and holds to love. No frills, no spills.

First set: 2-2 (Federer on serve)

Nadal fails to get the right elevation on his backhand but showcases his amazing ability to defend with a wondrous cross-shot. Federer quickly counteracts his opponent's incredible ability to return by racing up to the net.

Federer makes it 40-15 with a wonderful forehand before pulling off two excellent backhands to hold serve.

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First set: 2-1 (Nadal on serve)

Another excellent forehand from Federer makes it 0-15, but Nadal quickly responds with an ace. Federer then miscues a backhand - not an uncommon theme so far - but Nadal produces the first double fault of the match to make it 30-30.

The King of the Clay gets lucky as his undercooked topspin forehand takes a nick off the net before holding the next point to make it 2-1.

First set: 1-1 (Federer on serve)

Nadal fails to return Federer's opening serve but edges his old foe out of the second point after the Swiss miscues a backhand. Federer makes it 30-15 as Nadal fails to return a serve again, before consolidating his lead with a great forehand up the line.

Nadal then halves the deficit but Federer hits another excellent forehand to make it one game apiece.

First set: 1-0 (Nadal on serve)

The first point - won by Nadal - produces an enthralling rally, surely a sign of things to come. Federer then overcooks a backhand before Nadal executes the first ace of the match.

The Spaniard then clinches the game with some excellent strokes from the baseline.

Here we go. Nadal to serve first and begin one of the biggest matches in the history of tennis.

Can't argue with this. Both men currently engaged in a practice rally.

The players are out on the court. Not long to go for the clash that really is the hottest ticket in town.

Here is what both men have had to say ahead of the mouthwatering clash.

Nadal: "In that moment, for sure, we never thought that we have the chance to be in a final again.

"I really don't think about what happened in the past. I think the player who plays better is going to be the winner."

Federer: "I will leave it all out there in the final, and if I can't walk for the next five months then okay. It would be unreal if it is Rafa."

nadal and federer
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Both men had to get through gruelling five-setters in order to make it to the final. Federer edged out Stan Wawrinka on Thursday, while Nadal defeated Grigor Dimitrov - a player whose style is similar to Federer - on Friday.

Nadal was seen to be hobbling after his game with the Bulgarian, and it remains to be seen just how much the enthralling semi-final took out of the King of the Clay.

A huge statement from Andy Roddick. Is he right?

Nadal vs Federer is lauded as the greatest tennis rivalry of all time. We relived some of the pair's greatest ever matches down the years earlier this week.

The pair have faced each other 34 times during their careers with Nadal way ahead of his old foe with 23 victories to his 11. In Grand Slam finals the record is 6-2 in favour of Nadal, and many experts are tipping him to make it seven.

Nadal certainly has the upper hand over Federer in this particular Grand Slam.

In the three times they have faced each other in the Australian Open Nadal has emerged victorious every time, and he's tipped to keep the streak running today.

Hello and welcome to IB Times UK's coverage of the Australian Open final between two of tennis' all-time greats. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal renew their illustrious rivalry in a match that promises to live up to some of their previous gruelling bouts.

This may well be the last time we see Federer and Nadal duking it out in Grand Slam final. But while they might not be at their peak of their powers anymore, it is still wonderful to see two legends of the game battle it out for a major.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
The two tennis heavyweights will battle it out for perhaps the last time in a Grand Slam final. Getty Images