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MELBOURNE, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Roger Federer overcame Marin Cilic 6-2 6-7(5) 6-3 3-6 6-1 in a thrilling Melbourne Park final to win a record-equalling sixth Australian Open trophy and 20th grand slam title of his glittering career.
Federer prevailed in just over three hours under the Rod Laver Arena roof to become the third man after Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic to claim six Australian Open titles.
The Swiss now has four more grand slam titles than his great rival Rafael Nadal.
Cilic, who knocked out an ailing Nadal in the quarter-finals, showed plenty of courage in his first final appearance at the event as he came from a break down in the fourth set to take the match into a deciding set.
But despite his big hitting, he could not stop Federer from running away with the title.
“I’m so happy, it’s unbelievable,” Federer said with a quivering voice.
“I’m happy it’s over, but winning is just an absolute dream come true. The fairytale continues for me. After the great year I had last year, it’s incredible.”
Addressing the fans, he added: “You guys make me nervous. You guys make me practice. You guys fill the stadiums. Thank you.”
Earlier, Croatia’s Mate Pavic and Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski beat India’s Rohan Bopanna and Timea Babos of Hungary 2-6 6-4 (11-9) to win the mixed doubles title.
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Pavic, Dabrowski win Australian Open mixed doubles
Highlights of Sunday’s 14th day of the Australian Open, the first grand slam tournament of the year (times in GMT):
Federer defeated Cilic 6-2 6-7(5) 6-3 3-6 6-1 to claim a record-equalling sixth Australian Open title and 20th grand slam.
The men’s final got underway at the Rod Laver Arena.
0617 DABROWSKI-PAVIC WIN MIXED DOUBLES TITLE
Dabrowski and Pavic defeated Babos and Bopanna 2-6 6-4 (11-9) in 68 minutes to win the mixed doubles title. (Compiled by Shrivathsa Sridhar; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty and Pritha Sarkar)