Rafael Nadal won a classic Australian Open final against Roger Federer to secure his first hard-court Grand Slam title and stop the Swiss equaling the all-time Majors record.
The world number one recovered from his five-hour semi-final with Fernando Verdasco to take the gripping five-setter 7-5,3-6,7-6 (7/3),3-6,6-2 in four hours and 23 minutes.
Federer remains on 13 Grand Slams,one behind Pete Sampras,and with an enduring mental block against the Spaniard who has now beaten him in their last three Grand Slam finals.
Nadal,the first Spanish male winner of the tournament,moves to six Grand Slams,increasing his lead at the top of the rankings and earning a shot at sweeping the season’s majors.
Federer sprayed errors in a nervous start and double-faulted on break point before handing over the first set.
He continued to look uncomfortable in the second and he skied a forehand to go a break down,but then broke back and converted the fifth break point in a marathon eighth game.
Nadal saved six break points in the third with some nerveless tennis and he played the perfect tie-break,intercepting a backhand pass with a superb volley to set up three set points.