Australian Open 2018:Roger Federer wins 20th Grand Slam title after beating Marin Cilic 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 6-1 - How it happened

Australian Open 2018:Roger Federer wins 20th Grand Slam title after beating Marin Cilic 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 6-1 - How it happened

Joe Nicholson
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That brings to an end our live coverage of the Australian Open men’s singles final, I hope that you’ve enjoyed it. You can continue to follow our VAVEL tennis coverage which now moves onto the Davis Cup when Great Britain take on Spain next weekend. Congratulations to Roger Federer on winning his 20th Grand Slam title. Bye for now.   

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"To all the fans. You fill the stadiums, you make me nervous, you make me go out and practice. I just want to thank you for everything. To my team, I love you guys."

A bit of emotion from Federer who adds: "We've had a wonderful time in Australia. We arrived in Perth last year and we're still here. I'd like to thank everyone at the tournament. The volunteers especially, after the Sydney Olympics it made me realise what you do. It's always a celebration of tennis when it comes to an end. I want to thank everyone for making it so special tonight."

"Congrats to Marin. World number three is an incredible achievement. Keep doing what you're doing and achieve more."

"I'm so happy, it's unbelievable.It's been a long time waiting for this final. It's easier in the afternoon, but when it's at night you think about it all day. I'm happy it's over now. It's a dream come true and the fairy tale continues. After the year I had last year, it's incredible."

2018 men's singles champion Roger Federer is about to start his speech. 

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"It's an amazing tournament and a privilege to be here. I hope I'll be playing here for many years to come. Thank you for your support and to the fans at home. It's another final in six months and I hope this is going to be an amazing year."

"My team have been unbelievable for the last two weeks. We started this year amazingly well and hopefully we can reach more finals and lift more trophies."

"It was an amazing journey for me. It could have been the best two weeks of my life. I had the chance at the beginning of the fifth but he played a great match."

"First of all congrats to Roger and his team. It's amazing what he does year after year. All the best for 2018."

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Runner-up Marin Cilic steps up to the stage.

The presentation ceremony is underway.

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Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 6-1 Cilic - Just like last year Federer has to wait for the challenge system after Cilic questions a serve on match point. The ball was in and Federer has his 20th Grand Slam title.

Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 6-1 Cilic - GAME SET AND MATCH FEDERER!

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*Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 5-1 Cilic - FEDERER BREAKS - Cilic misses three backhands in a game before sending a forehand into the net. Federer will serve for the title.

Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 4-1 Cilic* - Federer's first serve is back. He holds in just 66 seconds. What can Cilic do to stop the momentum? 

*Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 3-1 Cilic - Love hold for Cilic, he's on the scoreboard in the decider.

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Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 3-0 Cilic* - Federer lets out a roar of "come on" after consolidating the break. He's not making as many first serves and his second serve speed has dropped but he's doing just enough at the moment.

*Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 2-0 Cilic - FEDERER BREAKS - The crowd are on their feet. Federer earns a break point when he challenges a Cilic serve which was out. The Swiss then bunts back a first serve and the Croat hits into the net.

Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 1-0 Cilic* - This is getting tense now. Federer finds his first serve when it matters, saving two break points at the start of the decider. His player's box are on their feet as their man come through the game.

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Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 Cilic* - SECOND SET CILIC - We are going the distance. What an effort from Marin Cilic, he has won five games in a row to force a decider. What must Federer be thinking now? 

Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-5 Cilic* - CILIC BREAKS - Federer saves two breaks points at 15-40 but can't keep his opponent at bay. Cilic's forehand is really starting to cause some damage and he finishes the game with a thumping winner.

*Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-4 Cilic - A tough game but Cilic come through, he's playing better than ever right now. He looked down and out a couple of minutes ago.

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Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-3 Cilic* - CILIC BREAKS - Wow! Who saw that coming? Cilic breaks for the first time in the match as Federer's serve deserts him. A double fault at 0-30 gives the Croat three break points and he converts at the first attempt.

*Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-2 Cilic - Great serving from the Croat. His 13th ace makes it 3-2. He is still six short of Federer though - a telling statistic.

Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-1 Cilic* - A couple of forays to the net get Federer to 40-0. He finishes the game with an audacious drop shot. Pressure back on Cilic.

*Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 2-1 Cilic - Cilic isn't done yet. He saves a break point a 30-40 with a sledgehammer forehand. He will still have to break Federer's serve though.

Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 2-0 Cilic* - Federer has upped the ante in the last few minutes. Another hold puts him four games away.

*Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 1-0 Cilic - FEDERER BREAKS - Two missed backhands from Cilic hand Federer an early break in the third. He is closing in on his 20th major title.

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*Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 Cilic - SECOND SET FEDERER - He made that look easy! Four first serves, finished with an ace. What has Cilic got left?

*Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 5-3 Cilic - Federer didn't seen to want much to do with that game. A quick hold from Cilic means the Swiss will have to serve for the set.

Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 5-2 Cilic* - Federer is back in control of this final. He races to a 40-15 lead before missing a drop shot in the net. Cilic lets him off the hook, though, by missing a backhand return off a second serve.

*Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 4-2 Cilic - FEDERER BREAKS - Cilic loses his serve for the first time since the first set. He missed a couple of first serves in that game and paid the price. The Croat loses the game by missing a backhand into the tramlines. 

Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 3-2 Cilic*- Federer cruises through another service game. He has the advantage of serving first in this set.

*Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 2-2 Cilic - Cilic really is serving much better and that appears to be the key to this match. Another ace from the Croat is followed by a missed backhand from Federer. 

Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 2-1 Cilic* - Cilic is starting to get his racquet  on a few more Federer serves. The Swiss holds from 30-30 but we really have a match now.

*Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 1-1 Cilic - No let up from Cilic who levels the score with a backhand powerful strike.

Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 1-0 Cilic* – No hanging around at the end of that set. Federer holds to love at the start of the third.

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Federer 6-2 6-7 (5-7) Cilic – SECOND SET CILIC - Cilic puts away a smash to win the set. One set all.

Federer 6-2 6-6 (5-6) Cilic – Ace from Federer.

Federer 6-2 6-6 (4-6) Cilic – Forehand winner from Cilic - set point!

Federer 6-2 6-6 (4-5) Cilic – Cilic lands a first serve

Federer 6-2 6-6 (4-4) Cilic – Federer misses a forehand.

Federer 6-2 6-6 (4-3) Cilic - Backhand wide from Cilic.

Federer 6-2 6-6 (3-3) Cilic – Forehand winner from Cilic.

Federer 6-2 6-6 (3-2) Cilic – Forehand winner from Federer.

Federer 6-2 6-6 (2-2) Cilic – Volley winner from Cilic.

Federer 6-2 6-6 (2-1) Cilic – And another ace!

Federer 6-2 6-6 (1-1) Cilic – Federer hits an Ace!

Federer 6-2 6-6 (0-1) Cilic – Federer chips a backhand long.

Federer 6-2 6-6 Cilic – We are heading for a breaker. Federer wins the game with his ninth ace.

*Federer 6-2 5-6 Cilic – Great response from Cilic who will at least get a tie break from this set. Federer will serve to stay in it once again.

Federer 6-2 5-5 Cilic* – Two double in the same game give Cilic a set point at 30-40. The Croat fails to capitalise as he dumps a backhand into the net. Has he missed his opportunity?

*Federer 6-2 4-5 Cilic – A superb backhand pass takes Federer to 30-40 but Cilic responds with a second serve ace on break point! Federer will serve to stay in the second set.

Federer 6-2 4-4 Cilic* – A missed volley from Federer puts him 0-15 down on serve, but he goes on to win the next four points to hold.

*Federer 6-2 3-4 Cilic – Ace number seven for Cilic gets the Croat out of the game. This could get interesting.

Federer 6-2 3-3 Cilic* – This match is being played indoors due to the "wet bulb globe temperature". What ever that means. Another love hold for Federer makes it 10 successive holds of serve in a row.

*Federer 6-2 2-3 Cilic – The Croat gets out of the game with his sixth ace of the match. He saved another break point at 30-40 but is keeping his noise ahead in the second set.

Federer 6-2 2-2 Cilic* – A forehand winner takes Cilic to 15-15 but Federer averts the danger just when it looks like Cilic is building some momentum.

*Federer 6-2 1-2 Cilic – Cilic saves a break point with an ace at 30-40 and manages to claim a crucial hold of serve. The game went on for around nine minutes. Could that be a turning point? 

Federer 6-2 1-1 Cilic* – Cilic crushes a backhand down the line to go up 15-40 and earn his first break points. The first one is saved with an ace and, the second with a powerful forehand. We stay on serve.

*Federer 6-2 0-1 Cilic – Better serving from the Croat. He made just 52 per cent of his first deliveries in that first set and that will have to improve if he is the stand a chance.

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Federer 6-2 Cilic – GAME FIRST SET FEDERER – A set up in 25 minutes. Three unreturned serves seal the deal. Brilliant from the Swiss but that was slightly underwhelming.

*Federer 5-2 Cilic – Cilic holds to keep the set alive. Surely, it’s only a matter of time though.

Federer 5-1 Cilic* – Another game gone just like that. Federer holds to love as Cilic pulls a backhand into the net. The Croat will want to make Federer serve it out so that he can start serving in the second set.

*Federer 4-1 Cilic – That’s a bit more like it. Cilic doubled his points tally in that one game to hold his serve at the third attempt. It’s still a long shot but at least he’s on the board.

Federer 4-0 Cilic* - Cilic lands his first forehand winner of the contest, unfortunately he was 40-0 down at the time. Federer hasn’t even broke sweat yet. 

*Federer 3-0 Cilic – FEDERER BREAKS AGAIN – They’ve only been on court ten minutes but already Federer is up a double break. Cilic is looking a little nervous and is making too many errors from the baseline. Time to think about the second set already?

Federer 2-0 Cilic* – Just like that. A love hold for the Swiss, this is one-way traffic early on.

*Federer 1-0 Cilic - FEDERER BREAKS – It’s a terrible start for the Croat who pays the prices for a couple of missed first serves. Cilic dumps a smash into the bottom of the net at 30-40 and Federer has an early break.

Here we go play is underway!

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Cilic won the coin toss and has elected to serve.

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The players are on court.

We are hearing that the roof will stay closed on the Rod Laver Arena due to extreme heat policy. 

Federer's Route

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First round Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-4 6-3

Second round Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-4)

Third round Richard Gasquet (29) 6-2 7-5 6-4

Fourth round Marton Fucsovics 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 6-2

Quarter-finals Tomas Berdych (19) 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 6-4

Semi-finals Chung Hyeon 6-1 5-2 retired

Cilic's Route

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First round Vasek Pospisil 6-2 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-5)

Second round Joao Sousa 6-1 7-5 6-2

Third round Ryan Harrison 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 7-6 (7-4)

Fourth round Pablo Carreno Busta (10) 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-0) 7-6 (7-3)

Quarter-final Rafael Nadal (1) 3-6 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 2-0 retired

Semi-final Kyle Edmund 6-2 7-6 (7-4) 6-2

The players will be walking onto court in around 15 minutes time. Before they do, let’s take a closer look at how both men made it through to the final.

"I think I've done everything pretty well," he added. "I just hope I'm going to have a good start to the match. I hope I can mix up my game. I hope I can start serving well from the get-go, not get into too much trouble early. I hope I can read his serve and all these things. I'm just pleased that actually my game has been good from the very beginning of the tournament."

At 36 years of age, Federer’s tennis is looking better than ever. His achievements have been put into context by the recent injuries to Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, however the Swiss doesn’t appear to have any fitness issues ahead of the final. "I'm happy I'm still around, still healthy, still playing good, give myself chances, playing the best,” said Federer after reaching the final.

"I'm playing much, much more aggressive.  I'm feeling that I am, for most of the shots, hitting them really, really good. From the return, moving, forehand, backhand, serving, I think everything is in good, solid spot. I'm feeling really excited about the final."

(Photo: Clive Brunskill / Getty) 

"I'm feeling really, really good physically," said Cilic, after his semi-final victory over Britain’s Kyle Edmund. "I'm not looking at it as a revenge. I mean, it was on me that I couldn't give my best in Wimbledon. And that happens.”

Federer has won eight of his nine matches against Cilic, including their last meeting which came at the Nitto ATP Finals in November. Cilic did, though, record a memorable victory over the Swiss on his way at the US Open in 2014, before going on to lift the title. Cilic prevailed 6-3 6-4 6-4 at Flushing Meadows that day, with a brilliant display of big serving and powerful groundstrokes. The pair have never met in Australia.

The Croat will hope for a different outcome than when he faced Federer in the Wimbledon final six months ago. Cilic was hampered by injury and broke down in tears as Federer claimed his eighth title at SW19 with a comfortable straight-set victory. It is the only time that the pair have met in a major final.

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In contrast, Cilic has spent 17 hours and three minutes on court to reach the final, including a five-set triumph over Nadal, when the Spaniard retired with a thigh injury. The Croat does have one major to his name, after winning the US Open back in 2014, however this is his first final Down Under. Whatever the result, Cilic will move up to a career-high ranking of three in the world when the standings are updated on Monday.

Twelve months on from his incredible victory over Rafael Nadal in last year’s final, Federer is bidding to become the first male singles player to win 20 major singles titles. The Swiss couldn’t have wished for an easier route through to his seventh Australian Open final and the number two seed is still yet to drop a set at this year’s event. Federer has spent just 10 hours and 50 minutes on court in his six matches this fortnight, while he also received an early finish in his last match when semi-final opponent Hyeon Chung retired.

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK’s live coverage of the 2018 Australian Open men’s singles final between Roger Federer and Marin Cilic. I'm Joseph Nicholson and I will be guiding through this mornings - what we hope is able to live up to Saturday's epic Women's final. The players are due on court at 8:30am (UK time), so stick around for live game by game updates and match analysis from Melbourne Park.