Chronicling Roger Federer's 100th match at 3 different Grand Slams
In his storied 21-year professional career, Roger Federer, has many Grand Slam records to his name.
In the Open Era, Federer has the most Grand Slam titles (20), Grand Slam final appearances (31), semifinals (45), quarterfinals (55), matches (412) and match wins (355). The Swiss maestro is the only player to play 5 finals and win 70 matches at each of the 4 majors.
On Tuesday night after his first-round match in New York, the Swiss added another feather to his cap by becoming the first player to appear in 100 matches at three Grand Slam tournaments.
Here's how the Swiss maestro fared in his 100th match at the three Majors.
#100th match at Australian Open: Beats Nadal in 2017 final
Federer became the first player since Jimmy Connors (1988 US Open) to play 100 matches at a Grand Slam tournament after he beat his compatriot and good friend Stan Wawrinka in the 2017 Australian Open semifinals.
In his 100th match at the first Grand Slam event of the year, Federer faced his arch-nemesis Rafael Nadal in the title match, for the 9th time at a Grand Slam tournament.
Going into the match, Federer trailed Nadal 2-9 in all Grand Slam matches and 2-6 in Grand Slam title matches. He hadn't beaten the Spaniard at a Slam in over 10 years, since the 2007 Wimbledon final.
Having missed the latter half of the previous season due to injury, it was Federer's first competitive tournament since 2016 Wimbledon. But Nadal was also on the comeback trail after closing his 2016 season early due to injury.
Both Federer and Nadal arrived in the final following respective 5-set semifinals over Wawrinka and Grigor Dimitrov respectively. But it was Federer who was faster off the blocks, dropping only four points on serve en route to taking the opening set 6-4.
Nadal fought back with two breaks of serve in the second set, and although Federer recouped one of the breaks back, the Swiss was powerless to stop Nadal from taking the set 6-3 and make it a set apiece.
Federer stalled Nadal's momentum by producing three aces on as many break points in the opening game of the third. That proved decisive, as the Swiss reasserted his supremacy in the match by dropping only one game in the set to move to within a set of his first Grand Slam title in over 5 years.
Once again Nadal regrouped to take the fourth set, and survived multiple break points to open up a potentially decisive 3-1 lead in the decider. But Federer was not ready to endure more Grand Slam final heartbreak against the Spaniard.
The Swiss broke Nadal twice en route to winning four games in a row. The match and the tournament were now on Federer's racquet as the Swiss served for the championship at 5-4.
Nadal launched one final fightback by taking a 15-40 lead. But there would to be no further momentum swings in the match as Federer won four points in a row, including the final point on a Hawkeye call. That gave him his first victory over his great rival in a Slam final since Wimbledon 2007, his 18th Grand Slam title and 5th at the Australian Open.
The win ended Federer's six-match losing streak against Nadal in Grand Slams. The Swiss also became the first player to win 5 titles at three different Grand Slam tournaments.