Chalk One Up for Old Man Time
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The first Grand Slam of 2017 could be remembered as the Old-stralian Open after both singles titles were won by 35-year-olds.
Roger Federer followed Serena Williams' victory in the women's final by outlasting longtime nemesis Rafael Nadal for the men's championship. Federer was just 2-6 all-time against Nadal in Grand Slam finals before pulling out a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 triumph.
Federer became the oldest man since Ken Rosewall in 1972 to win a slam. It's his 18th career major title, his fifth at Melbourne and his first since 2012 Wimbledon.
Federer was on the ropes in the fifth set, falling down a break before he broke back in the sixth game. He took control by winning 10 straight points and saved two break points in the final game.
Both players were coming off long layoffs created by injuries. Federer was playing his first competitive tournament since taking six months off because of an injured left knee. Nadal had been sidelined for two months due to a left wrist problem.