Roger Federer, 36, won his 20th Slam title at the Australian Open

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I kind of feel like the Slam tournaments are doing the wrong thing by stacking the deck so heavily in favor of Roger Federer. It’s not that I begrudge him the wins, and it’s not that I don’t understand the realities of television sports programming, advertising and ticket sales. Obviously, it benefits any tournament to have Roger stick around for the final. But it’s also bad television to see him breeze through these easy draws. Granted, his Australian Open could have been a lot harder, had Juan Martin del Potro or David Goffin made it through to the fourth round (neither did). Still, the most exciting Australian Open men’s matches this year had nothing to do with Federer.

It also would have been a lot harder for Federer if he ended up playing an in-form Rafa Nadal, Grigor Dimitrov or Nick Kyrgios in the final. Instead, what we got was a redux of the 2017 Wimbledon final between Federer and Marin Cilic. Full disclosure: I like Cilic a lot, I think he’s got a great game, but my God does he crumble in big moments these days. Cilic managed to push Federer to five sets, only to completely crumble in the final 15 minutes of the set. So yes, Roger Federer has won his 20th SLAM. He has won the most (singles) Slams of any man in history. The only people who have more singles-slams than Roger? Serena Williams, Steffi Graf and Margaret Court. Here’s his selfie:

Here’s Roger crying with the trophy. Is it just me or does it feel like… Roger sees the end in sight? Like, I’m more convinced than ever that Serena Williams is going to play for several more years. I’m not convinced Roger will. Or maybe he’s just crying because he touched himself again.

Meanwhile, the women’s side of the tournament was amazing. Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Elise Mertens, Karolina Pliskova all had multiple impressive matches. I was rooting for Simona in the final, but Caroline Wozniacki pulled it out, winning her first Slam title and returning to the #1 women’s player in the world. Much like last year’s Wimbledon, the women’s matches were so much better than the men’s, and the final was so much more exciting.

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45 Responses to “Roger Federer, 36, won his 20th Slam title at the Australian Open”

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  1. Xi Tang says:

    You sound like one of nole‘s fan lol
    I’m so happy for Fed. 20 is way better than 19. People on my TL where so emotional when he didn’t say “see you next year”. It feels like a farewell.

    As per usual WTA>ATP

    • Kaiser says:

      I like Federer more than Djokovic, but Stan is my man. I hope he gets better!

    • Rain says:

      Yeah… So dismissive and mean spirited. Nadal also had an easy draw.

      • Kaiser says:

        Nadal & Federer both had easy draws but only one of them got to play the majority of his matches in the cooler evening sessions.

      • Rain says:

        But that’s on the organizers, not him.

      • Margsy says:

        Federer is a class act! Delighted to see him win 🙂

      • Coz says:

        But top seeds always get the easier draws (random draws btw, not chose by the ATP or the organizers). That’s how it works. Programming is another thing thought.
        Anyway Roger is the greatest : what he can do…

      • Eyeroll says:

        Co-sign on this one being mean-sprited. Roger had a MUCH tougher draw than say Nadal (RF had Goffin, Delpo and Berdych in his quarter with a potential Djokovic semi final) – it isn’t his fault so many fell early.

        I can imagine how up in arms this site would be if a similar article were written about Serena (who often gets very favourable match times, particularly at the USO – understandable as she is an American living legend who generates $, ratings and interest). Don’t see why we can’t just celebrate living in an age of incredible athletes such as Roger, Serena and Rafa etc without peddling these sort of conspiracy theories.

      • Princessk says:

        Fed gets to play evening sessions because he is the most popular player, he is the big draw that puts bums on seats and makes television networks pay huge sums for rights. Of course they will schedule Roger to play where he gets maximum exposure to all of his fans because he is the GOAT!

    • Miss M says:

      I also got the impression he is preparing to retire.

      • hindulovegod says:

        They did bend over backwards to make it pleasant for Federer. Halep was hospitalized after her final. Meanwhile, they close the roof for Fed in better conditions. And despite his very watchable game, I have trouble rooting for Wawrinka. A 30 year old married father hitting on a high school girl? He got a pass on the Vekic relationship thanks to Kyrgios’s big mouth. But he shouldn’t have.

      • Whoopsy Daisy says:

        They closed the roof for him, which IMO favoured him over Cilic.

      • Princessk says:

        Of course he is preparing to retire from tennis at any time from now but we don’t know when. let us enjoy him while we can because thousands of fans are still hoping to go and watch him play live.

  2. Luca76 says:

    Love Roger❤️ I can’t believe he got to 20 .

  3. Biggles says:

    I’ve got a soft spot for Cilic, and I unintentionally stalk him (massive tennis fan so I go to a lot of events, and I’ve managed to accidentally get tickets to see Cilic 8 times.. Not complaining, he’s adorable) so I was little a bit gutted but he put up a good show. Can’t take anything from Federer though, the man is incredible!

    I agree that the WTA have ruled this tournament but I can’t believe that you didn’t name the Davis-Halep match in your write up! Lauren Davis was unbelievable! Always been a fan, as I am of all the short ladies tennis players, being one myself, but she was a revelation in that match and I hope she keeps up the standard. I hope all the ladies do, show all the vaguely misogynistic fans where the talents at💪

    • Kaiser says:

      Halep-Davis was amazing, I was impressed by both women. Halep-Kerber was also amazing – I honestly thought Kerber could and would pull it out and make it back to the final.

      • abby says:

        yeah, the women’s matches you mentioned were awesome.
        Kerber, Halep, Davis and Woz were on.

        Congrats Woz!

        And I loved Hseih (sp?) and Mertens. Awesome talents all around!

      • Biggles says:

        I was rooting for the Halep in the final because after her performances versus Davis, Kerber, and then the Wozniacki final were all just superb – player of the tournament by far. Gutted that she lost, so I hope she gets her next slam asap.

      • Princessk says:

        I like Wocinacki but I was rooting for Halep she worked really hard and is such a nice person.

      • J.j. says:

        Genie Bouchard has been a let down. The girl had game yet her social life took over her training. Practice practice practice. ..that’s what wins you matches not selfies.

    • Whoopsy Daisy says:

      I know a few people who met Marin and apparently he’s the nicest guy ever.

    • Lozface says:

      I’ve become a Lauren Davis fan too… one because we share the same name!!! So every time the Aussie open is on (I live in Melbourne), I get so excited to watch her play. She keeps improving each and every year too.

      Always bittersweet to see the end of the tournament, love the atmosphere whilst it’s on but great to see the finals too.

      Felt for Cilic, he did crumble but Fed just maintains his cool so well. A class act!

  4. abby says:

    I like Fed and I am happy that he got to 20. It’s been fun watching him from his first.

    But he is so obnoxious! It kills me.
    And yeah, it”s blatantly obvious that tournaments, especially Oz, are giving him favorable play conditions. All of his matches at night under cooler conditions. And now with the roof closed.
    IMO, Fed is the GOAT, they do not need to tip the conditions in his favor.

    Anyway, congrats Fed!

  5. Kit says:

    I think most people wished Simona had won. It was so close. I had to turn off in the third set to put the kids to bed, I was so sure Halep was wrapping it up, her press conference was kind of heart breaking. But Wozniacki played so well, she worked hard for it.

    The men’s was ok to watch too. Predictable but exciting enough. I liked Roger’s shoes.

    The heat has been so bad this year. 3hrs + matches in it is probably getting a bit dangerous.

  6. AmandaPanda says:

    They schedule him in the evening because he’s super popular in melbourne – so this way people can go and watch him after work. I’m in melbourne atm and went to the federer semi and the only reason they closed the roof then was because it was raining. I think it’s really petty to say he’s winning because tournament organisers favoured him. The guy is just an unbelievable tennis player, and his shot making is second to none. End of.

    The women’s tournament was amazing – in a way it’s great serena hasng been around as she’s just sucked up so much airtime she’s so good. Nice to have a tournament where the others can duke it out without her (or Venus) there.

    • Rain says:

      Yeah as if we know for certain that if he’d played during the day, he’d have lost in the second round.

    • IMHO says:

      I get scheduling your prime time draw in a time slot where the most people can purchase tickets (and subsequently merchandise, snacks, beverages etc), but I fail to see how the actual playing conditions only favor one player over the opponent.

      Alternate headline: Federer opponents catch a break with cooler temperatures and climate controlled closed dome and STILL can’t defeat him.

    • abby says:

      It makes perfect business sense to schedule Fed during prime time. Sure.

      But it’s a bit much at this point. Where each and every match is scheduled as such.
      Further, Federer admonished other players to just get on with it, as though they were making a fuss over nothing regarding the weather conditions and being difficult (I think this was after the Novak and Gael match).

      Fed is GOAT and I like him but really sometimes his head is too far up his own a$$.
      He doesn’t have to endure the extreme heat and humidity and how that may impact his game and endurance because he is scheduled – always – for the cooler evenings. No one else can say that. And maybe no one else brings in the same $$ but call it for what it is – a very deliberate decision behind how Fed is scheduled, whether for commercial reasons or otherwise I doubt the reasons matter to the other players left in the sweltering heat.

      But then the question soon becomes, when does scheduling to milk your cash cow (Fed) turn into scheduling to keep said cash cow in the tournament longer? I can see why people are questioning it.

      BTW, IMO Would Roger have lost in an earlier round? Doubtful, personally I think he would have still won the title but a little more consideration for his fellow tennis players would not be amiss.

      • AmandaPanda says:

        In the post match interview with chung he admitted that he’d been thinking “just get on with it” when he’d seen Venus complaining about the heat with the roof closed – but then when he’d stepped out for the SF had thought omg it’s so so hot. (And it was hot – with the roof closed it takes awhile for the air con to come on and it’s baking hot until that happens.) So basically admitting he was a hypocrite. The guy has a massive ego, but he also has a sense of humour and can poke fun at himself. Whether he’s learned that or it’s natural, he consistently shows a sense of perspective. He’s liked on the tour & he played tennis with Cilic on holidays ffs so the other players clearly want to spend time with him. I just don’t get the hate.

  7. Samantha says:

    So happy for him. He truly deserves his win for keeping himself in such amazing form at his age. He’s also a great sportsman/person. All in all, well-deserved!

  8. Whoopsy Daisy says:

    Well, I’m Croatian so I’m pretty gutted Federer won. Čilić did play really well and we’re all really proud of him. Plus, Pavić won doubles so that’s 3 Croatian finals. Not bad for a teeny tiny country.

  9. peanutbuttr says:

    Top players getting the favorable time slots is nothing new. Roddick used to have first choice during the US Open

  10. Ashley says:

    Im not a big Fed fan but the favoritism is crazy part of that is because Craig Tilley and Fed are in business together. But the draw is the draw last year Fed had some crazy draws so its all random as to how it shakes out. Im soooo gutted Simona lost, I hope she wins the french…or any slam this year!!

  11. lisa says:

    i guess the roof is only closed on his half and his opponents actually play at a different time of day and no favorite ever has been saved for prime time coverage

  12. Hummus says:

    I love the Fed as a player but crush on Nadal forever. But but but does anyone else ever wonder what Federer would be like as a husband? I always picture him as totally asexual or like Charlotte’s husband Trey from SATC. the way he kissed his trophy last night I was thinking, I wonder if he ever kissed his wife this passionately?

  13. Vanessa says:

    Way to be gracious about his win. He’s adored here in Australia, he’s beautiful to watch and he was in top form this tournament. Rafa did not play that well this year; the poor guy is still recovering from yet another injury. No reason to begrudge Fed taking another tournament, especially considering we probably won’t get to see it happen for too much longer.

  14. Princessk says:

    We are no longer talking about Roger being the greatest tennis player of all time , we are into the realm of him being the greatest sportsman of all-time. He is Immortal Irreplaceable. I am just happy to be alive in his times, and had the good fortune to watch him play live.

  15. SCF says:

    Glad it’s over. Now the local sports media can return their focus to the upcoming football season.

  16. msd says:

    Top players, not just Roger, always have an advantage but I kind of feel like they earned it, you know? At some point they were the lowly-ranked players on outside courts and they worked their way up. And conditions in Melbourne were even hotter and more humid than the day before. I think Halep going to hospital for dehydration freaked them out a bit, and as soon as it hit the temp and humidity when the rules said they could close the roof they did it. If they hadn’t then a different group of people would have complained about the heat. (Tennis fans complain a lot, about everything).

    Roger is amazing but the women’s draw was soooo much better than the men’s this year. The Halep-Woz final was one of the best for ages. I love it when that happens because it temporarily shuts up the sexist idiots who constantly bitch about women’s tennis.

  17. Jessica says:

    I hate to tell you, but a lot of players are so inconsistent that they could’ve been playing in perfect conditions and they still would’ve lost. It isn’t Roger’s fault he didn’t have to play them. And you want to talk special treatment? How about Nadal (who I have never liked) always being given leniency on the time limits between points for FFS? Thankfully I only have to watch that crap when he’s playing someone I like. He takes FOREVER and from what I have seen other people comment about it, rarely gets called out for it.

    Although I’m happy for Roger and #20 puts a little more distance between him and Nadal, I feel bad for Cilic and wouldn’t have minded if he had pulled off the upset. He seems like a nice guy.

  18. Princess Conseula says:

    Easy draws? Do you even know how tennis tournaments work? If you don’t, best to not “offer” opinions based on half-baked understanding of tennis. No one gets to be a GOAT by getting easy draws. Those 20 GSlam titles (part of over 90 titles) were accumulated across 15 years of Roger’s pro career.