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Last Updated Sunday May 07 2017 09:28 AM IST

The sublime eloquence of being Roger Federer

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The sublime eloquence of being Roger Federer Roger Federer | Photo: Getty Images

The first month of 2017 witnessed some stunning performances by the veteran sports stars.

At home Yuvraj Singh, on a comeback trail, and M.S. Dhoni, who relinquished limited overs captaincy, came up with a vintage stand to set up India's series win in the second ODI against England.

The Williams sisters then turned back the clock in the Australian Open women's event by setting up a title clash in a Grand Slam after a gap of eight years.

Serena beat her older sister Venus in straight sets to set a Professional Era record of 23 Grand Slams singles titles.

And then, on Sunday, Roger Federer proved fairy tales do come true as the Swiss legend fought his way past arch-rival Rafael Nadal in a classic final to end his five-year Grand Slam drought.

At 35, few gave Federer a chance against Nadal in the final set, especially after the Spaniard rallied to force a decider.

Federer, who lost his serve in the opening game, bounced back from a 1-3 deficit to win the set 6-3 and clinch his 18th Grand Slam title. Federer was playing his first Tour competition after a six-month break with a knee injury and few expected him to go all the distance at Melbourne Park.

But the final was just another demonstration how great Fedex is. His serve was impeccable, whenever he needed a big point, the great man came up with an ace.

The depth of his backhand shots and fitness levels too were simply incredible. Federer had prevailed over his compatriot and good friend Stan Wawrinka in the semifinals too in a five-setter. He never gave the impression that he was tiring one bit in the epic final set against Nadal. And when TV replay confirmed that he had won the final point, Federer's childlike celebrations showed how much the triumph meant to him.

There were many who expected the champion to call it quits after his memorable win.

Well, Federer believes he could still win a few more Grand Slams and touch the magical figure of 20.

True, the early exits of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic made the path easy for Federer, but during the past fortnight Federer produced sublime tennis and reminded one and all how foolhardy we were in believing he was past his prime.

Let's hope the legend continues to entertain us for at least a couple more years for we will realize how fortunate we have been only when he's gone.

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