Mon, February 02, 2009
Sports > Tennis & Golf > Australian Open tennis tournament

Nadal wins first Australian Open title

2009-02-01 13:34:59 GMT2009-02-01 21:34:59 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Rafael Nadal of Spain bites his trophy after the men's singles final against Roger Federer of Switzerland at Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Feb. 1, 2009. Nadal won the match 3-2. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

Roger Federer of Switzerland sheds tears during the awarding ceremony after the men's singles final against Rafael Nadal of Spain at Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Feb. 1, 2009. Nadal won the match 3-2. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

Rafael Nadal of Spain gestures to the crowd after the men's singles final against Roger Federer of Switzerland at Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Feb. 1, 2009. Nadal won the match 3-2. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

Rafael Nadal of Spain jubilates after the men's singles final against Roger Federer of Switzerland at Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Feb. 1, 2009. Nadal won the match 3-2. (Xinhua/Zhou Lei)

MELBOURNE, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- World number one Rafael Nadal won his first Australian Open title after outplaying world number two Roger Federer in the men's final on Sunday.

Nadal, the French Open, Wimbledon and Olympic champion, finally made breakthrough at the hardcourt Grand Slam at the Melbourne Park, tamed three-time winner Federer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6 and 6-2.

Federer, failing again to equal Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slams, might feel he has a much better chance this time after the huge physical effort Nadal made in the epic semifinal win over compatriot Fernando Verdasco, but it just did not work in his way.

Nadal and Federer both looked nervy at the start of the first set, exchanging break twice to tie the game at 4-4. Nadal finally took the advantage of some sloppy play of the Swiss superstar to take a decisive break in the eleventh game and held serve firmly in the next before drawing the first blood at 7-5.

Both players hit top gear in the second set, exchanging break again in the fourth and fifth games. Federer, clearly looking more dangerous, pushed the Spaniard to the limits and finally converted on the fifth break point opportunity of the eighth game to extend to a comfortable 5-3 lead.

After claiming the second set at 6-3, the Swiss was gaining momentum on his side, threatening to take another break in the eleventh game of the third set, only for an undaunted Nadal to hold serve after beating three break points.

After Federer holding serve in the next game, the set was dragged into the tie-break, where Nadal won at 7-3.

The momentum was then switched to the side of Federer, who won the fourth set at 6-3. However, Federer never looked comfortable in the final set, dropping serve twice to lose at 6-2.

MELBOURNE, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- World number one Rafael Nadal won his first Australian Open title after outplaying world number two Roger Federer in the men's final on Sunday.

Nadal, the French Open, Wimbledon and Olympic champion, finally made breakthrough at the hardcourt Grand Slam at the Melbourne Park, tamed three-time winner Federer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6 and 6-2.

Federer, failing again to equal Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slams, might feel he has a much better chance this time after the huge physical effort Nadal made in the epic semifinal win over compatriot Fernando Verdasco, but it just did not work in his way.

Nadal and Federer both looked nervy at the start of the first set, exchanging break twice to tie the game at 4-4. Nadal finally took the advantage of some sloppy play of the Swiss superstar to take a decisive break in the eleventh game and held serve firmly in the next before drawing the first blood at 7-5.

Both players hit top gear in the second set, exchanging break again in the fourth and fifth games. Federer, clearly looking more dangerous, pushed the Spaniard to the limits and finally converted on the fifth break point opportunity of the eighth game to extend to a comfortable 5-3 lead.

After claiming the second set at 6-3, the Swiss was gaining momentum on his side, threatening to take another break in the eleventh game of the third set, only for an undaunted Nadal to hold serve after beating three break points.

After Federer holding serve in the next game, the set was dragged into the tie-break, where Nadal won at 7-3.

The momentum was then switched to the side of Federer, who won the fourth set at 6-3. However, Federer never looked comfortable in the final set, dropping serve twice to lose at 6-2.

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