There were moments of sheer magic, brilliance, not to mention nostalgia as Roger Federer, coming back from injury, beat Rafael Nadal in a classic final to lift the Australian Open trophy, his 18th Grand Slam title.
The match at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Sunday, which lasted 3 hours and 37 minutes, brought out the best in both the great champions, who have been struggling with injuries and indifferent form of late. (Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal final highlights)
And the sporting world – not just tennis players but champions from different disciplines, including Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman – joined hands in congratulating not just Federer, but Nadal, for the great match, their perseverance and quest for excellence.
Tennis legend Billie Jean King praised both Nadal and Federer, saying that the Swiss ace is a “true champion” while the Spaniard’s “fighting spirit is a treat” to watch.
So proud of @RafaelNadal.Your fighting spirit and competitiveness is a treat for all tennis fans to watch unfold. Thank you!— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) January 29, 2017
Spanish tennis player Feliciano Lopez hoped Nadal and Federer were always around to play and win tournaments.
I just hope that you guys never leave us..Bravo @rogerfederer Today's match was so inspiring..❤— Feliciano López (@feliciano_lopez) January 29, 2017
Stan Wawrinka, who was beaten by “friend” Federer in the semifinals, was one of the first to congratulate the champion.
Indian cricket stars VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh joined countless other sportspersons from across the world to congratulate and thank the great champions for their brilliant display of sporting spirit and for a wonderful match.
Some celebrated with a tinge of humour too.
Roger Federer will make a good politician. He's great at rallies & speeches.— Trendulkar (@Trendulkar) January 29, 2017