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Last Updated Tuesday May 22 2018 11:49 AM IST

FedEx - testing the limits of greatness!

Paul Abraham K
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FedEx - testing the limits of greatness! Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates with the trophy after winning the Australian Open final against Croatia's Marin Cilic Sunday. Photo: Reuters

Roger Federer's triumph in the Australian Open is hardly a surprise, considering his phenomenal run at the Grand Slams in 2017. The Swiss genius has proved that he is the man to beat in the new year as well.

Federer played sublime tennis en route to the final as he did not a drop a single set. Though he was stretched by Croat Marin Cilic in Sunday's title clash, the man machine just upped his game in the final set and notched up a record-equaling sixth Australian Open title and a stunning 20th Grand Slam. Ever since tennis turned professional in 1968, there has been only 200 majors and the great man now owns 10 per cent of them!

The amazing thing about Federer is age has not diminished his prowess one bit. On the contrary, Federer is wiser and fitter. The 36-year-old fell back on his wealth of knowledge to wriggle out of the few tricky moments he had to face last fortnight at the Melbourne Park - whether it be in the opening set of his quarterfinal clash with Czech Tomas Berdych or in the decider against Cilic. Federer's shotmaking was of the highest quality right throughout the tournament. The silken touch, languid movements and unwavering concentration were there for all to see.

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    Roger Federer poses with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after winning the Australian Open for the sixth time. Photo: Twitter

    No. 20 FedEx
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    Switzerland's Roger Federer in action during the final against Croatia's Marin Cilic. Reuters

    No. 20 FedEx
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    Marin Cilic of Croatia serves against Roger Federer of Switzerland. Reuters

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    Marin Clilic, left, congratulates Roger Federer after winning the Australian Open title. Photo: Twitter

    No. 20 FedEx
  • No. 20 FedEx

    Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates winning the Australian Open final against Croatia's Marin Cilic. Reuters

    No. 20 FedEx
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    Roger Federer thank fans after successfully defending the Australian Open title. Photo: Twitter

    No. 20 FedEx
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    Roger Federer celebrates after winning his 20th Grand Slam. Photo: Twitter

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    A collage of 20 Grand Slam titles won by Roger Federer. Photo: Twitter

    No. 20 FedEx

Federer has a huge advantage over his rivals for the simple reason that he has seen it all before and done it. He has an aura about him and it is incredibly tough for the youngsters to take him on at the business end of the Grand Slam as South Korean sensation Hyeon Chung found out in the semifinals.

What next for the maestro?

Well, the way Federer is progressing he may well go past Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slams, the most by a man or woman, even as Serena Williams, who has 23 to her credit, returns to the majors and pursues her effort to get there first!

On a more serious note, Federer, in the twilight of his career, is playing some of his finest tennis and bringing joy to millions of fans of the game. It's a gift only the special ones are blessed with and one can only marvel at the champion's discipline and his eagerness to test himself time and again.

Read more: Sports | Cilic blames closed roof for slow start against Federer

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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