Once again he become the first man to win 20 Grand Slam singles titles, the questions to Roger Federer shifted to another major milestone.
The record for most major singles titles is 24, set by Margaret Court across the amateur and professional eras. Serena Williams set the Open era record last year when she beat her sister Venus in the Australian Open final for her 23rd major title.
That win 12 months ago — Serena Williams’ last before taking time out for her pregnancy and the birth last September of her daughter — coincided with Federer’s drought-breaking triumph at Melbourne Park.
Federer’s win over Rafael Nadal in the 2017 final ended a Grand Slam drought dating back to Wimbledon in 2012. He followed that up by winning the Wimbledon title and finished last year at No. 2.
“I didn’t think 20 was ever possible, to be honest. But, no, I think it’s too far,” Federer said. “Those numbers are surreal. They’re amazing. I’m very happy if it stays at 20. What a moment.”
Federer didn’t hide his emotion after beating sixth-seeded Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday night, shedding tears as he accepted the trophy. Even the great Laver, sitting in the crowd, was compelled to get a photo of it for posterity.
Caroline Wozniacki is finally a Grand Slam champion, holding off top-seeded Simona Halep in three tough sets. She was seeded No. 2 and playing her 43rd major, and the victory lifted her to No. 1 in the rankings for the first time in six years.
Wozniacki said she was most pleased she won’t ever have to answer any more questions about what it’s like to have held the top ranking without winning a major.