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Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal: Sporting world joins hands to celebrate ‘greatness’

Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the 35th chapter of their rivalry to win his fifth Australian Open and clinch a first Grand slam title in four and a half years on Sunday

tennis Updated: Jan 29, 2017 20:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Roger Federer,Rafael Nadal,Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal of Spain congratulates Roger Federer of Switzerland after the men's final of the Australian Open on Sunday.(Getty Images)

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.

Read more | Why Roger Federer wanted to share Australian Open title with Rafael Nadal

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.

Spanish tennis player Feliciano Lopez hoped Nadal and Federer were always around to play and win tournaments.

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.

First Published: Jan 29, 2017 20:08 IST