2 Feb 2009

Nadal denies Federer slice of history

7:14 pm on 2 February 2009

Roger Federer's dream of a record-equalling 14th grand slam tennis title was shattered last night by Rafael Nadal who came out on top in a pulsating 5-set final at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

The 22 year old world number one added the Melbourne Park trophy to his French and Wimbledon titles with an epic victory - 7-5 3-6 7-6 3-6 6-2.

Federer actually scored one more point than Nadal, but his normally reliable serve let him down during what was regarded as the greatest Australian Open final ever, and the first five set final in Melbourne for 21 years.

One of sport's greatest rivalries was underlined by the extraordinary scenes during the presentation ceremony which underlined their respect for each other.

Federer broke down, unable to address a crowd which was giving him a standing ovation, stepping away to regain his composure, before Nadal embraced him and Federer returned.

Nadal has now won 6 Grand Slams, but he needs a US Open title now to complete the full set.