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  1. ITV Report

Roger Federer wins 20th Grand Slam crown with Australia Open victory over Cilic

Federer withstood a Marin Cilic comeback to successfully defend his Australian Open title. Photo: PA

Roger Federer withstood a Marin Cilic comeback to successfully defend his Australian Open title and win a 20th grand slam crown.

Cilic recovered from two sets to one and a break down to force a fifth set but Federer proved stronger in the end to win 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 3-6 6-1 and join Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson in claiming his sixth title in Melbourne.

The 36-year-old, the second oldest man to win a slam title behind Ken Rosewall, moves four clear again of Rafael Nadal in terms of overall titles and is only three behind Serena Williams and four adrift of all-time record holder Margaret Court.

The crunch moment of the match came in the opening game of the decider. Playing at his peak, Cilic overpowered Federer from the baseline but the second seed withstood the pressure to save two break points.

A successful HawkEye challenge on a Cilic second serve helped him break in the next game and another break for 5-1 left him serving for the title. He needed only one match point, with Cilic netting a backhand return. The Croatian appealed to HawkEye but the serve just clipped the line.

The 36-year-old is the second oldest man to win a slam title behind Ken Rosewall Credit: PA

An emotional Federer was relieved to get the better of Cilic.

Federer said on court at the presentation: "I'm so happy, it's unbelievable.

"It's a dream come true and the fairytale continues.

"It's been a long time waiting for this final. It's easier in the afternoon, but when it's at night you think about it all day. I'm happy it's over now. After the year I had last year, it's incredible."