Roger Federer dug deep, coming back from a break down in the fifth and deciding set to beat Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the men's singles final of the 2017 Australian Open on Sunday, clinching his 18th Grand Slam title in the process. The two greats pushed each other to the brink, producing another great chapter in their long-running rivalry. It was Federer, however, who clinched the deal this time, edging out Nadal in an epic five-set thriller at the iconic Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
Get highlights of the Australian Open men's singles final here.
18:05 IST: That's it from us here! Thanks for joining us for this memorable Australian Open men's singles final.
17:56 IST: What a final!! And what great players. A very teary-eyed moment for all tennis fans. Hope we see them contest another Grand Slam final here.
17:55 IST: Federer won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in three hours 38 minutes on Rod Laver Arena to move four major titles ahead of Nadal and Pete Sampras on the all-time winners' list.
17:46 IST: Federer wins the fifth set and with that the 2017 Australian Open!! His 18th Grand Slam title!
17:45 IST: Ace!! Second championship point from Federer!
17:45 IST: Deuce!! Federer puts his forehand too long! This is edge of the seat stuff!! Just plain riveting.
17:44 IST: Championship point for Federer!!
17:43 IST: Federer with another forehand winner.
17:42 IST: Federer saves one with his 19th ace.
17:41 IST: Rafa is refusing to go away!! Two break points for the Spaniard.
17:40 IST: Ace!! His 18th of the match!
17:40 IST: Federer back is too long and he is 0-30 down on his serve.
17:39 IST: Federer gets the break!! He will serve for the match, championship and a 18th Grand Slam Title!
17:38 IST: Break point number 5 for Fedex!!
17:37 IST: Another brilliant serve and it's deuce again!
17:36 IST: 26-shot rally and Federer comes out on top. Another break point for the Swiss.
17:35 IST: Federer miscues his backhand cross-court as Rafa makes it deuce!! See-saw battle!
17:34 IST: Serve into the body and Rafa saves another one.
17:33 IST: Massive forehand from Nadal helps him save one.
17:32 IST: Double fault from Rafa!! Federer has three break points!!
17:31 IST: Nadal puts two back to back forehand shots wide and Federer is 30-love up on Rafa's serve.
17:28 IST: Love-hold for Federer! He leads 4-3 in the decider. What a shift in momentum!!
17:26 IST: Nadal's forehand is wide. Federer gets the break!! Huge moment in the match!
17:24 IST: Federer with a cross-court backhand winner earns another break point.
17:23 IST: Nadal saves the break point with an emphatic forehand winner.
17:22 IST: Nadal's forehand is too long. Break point for Federer!
17:21 IST: Nadal draws level with two solid points.
17:20 IST: Nadal is 0-30 down on his serve. Big opportunity for Federer.
17:18 IST: Federer with an easy hold to bring down the arrears to 2-3.
17:17 IST: Back to back forehand winners and Federer has a 40-15 lead.
17:15 IST: Another big hold for Rafa. It's 3-1 now in favour of the Spaniard!
17:13 IST: No he can't as Nadal blazes a cross-court backhand winner.
17:12 IST: Federer with a brilliant backhand winner earns himself a break point. Can he make it count?
17:11 IST: Deuce on Nadal's serve.
17:09 IST: Double fault from Nadal!
17:07 IST: Love-hold for Federer and he gets on the scoreboard in the fifth set. Rafa leads 2-1!
17:06 IST: This is what Federer needs. He races to a 40-love lead on his serve!
17:04 IST: Federer forehand is too long and Rafa has a massive hold of serve. The Spaniard leads 2-0!
17:03 IST: Federer gets lucky! Another break point. But Nadal with a down the line forehand winner makes it deuce again!
17:02 IST: Fearsome forehand winner from Nadal to take it to deuce.
17:01 IST: Federer backhand straight into the net. Rafa saves one.
17:00 IST: Masterclass from Federer. He has two break points.
16:58 IST: Another lethal backhand pass from Nadal. Unrelenting play from the Spaniard!
16:57 IST: Big forehand error from Federer and Nadal gets the break. Rafa leads 1-0 in the 5th set.
16:56 IST: Federer save one!
16:54 IST: Two break points for Rafa in the very 1st game. Brilliant down the line forehand winner from the Spaniard.
16:52 IST: Federer serves. Nadal wins the first point of the decider.
16:48 IST: Federer is receiving an off-court medical timeout!
16:47 IST: Fasten your seatbealt folks. Here comes the deciding fifth set.
16:45 IST: Nadal easily holds to win the fourth set 6-3 and take the final into a decider.
16:44 IST: Nadal is 40-love up!
16:43 IST: Federer manages to hold his serve. Rafa will now serve for the fourth set.
16:42 IST: Federer shanks his backhand cross-court to make it deuce.
16:41 IST: Nadal fights back to make it 30-all.
16:40 IST: Another forehand winner from Federer and he's 30-love up.
16:38 IST: A love-hold for Nadal as he takes 5-2 lead. Federer will serve to stay alive in the 4th.
16:37 IST: Nadal races to 30-love lead on his serve.
16:36 IST: Federer manages to hold on to his serve.
16:33 IST: Back to back aces from Federer.
16:30 IST: Incredible stuff from both players but Nadal nicks it with a forehand winner to take 4-1 lead. Even Federer applauds the shot from his opponent.
16:25 IST: Federer takes it to deuce after some very deep returns.
16:24 IST: Unforced errors are coming thick and fast from Federer now.
16:22 IST: Nadal gets the first break of the 4th set to take 3-1 lead.
16:21 IST: The Swiss star manages to save one.
16:20 IST: Federer serve under pressure. Nadal has three break points!!
16:18 IST: Easy hold for Nadal. He leads 2-1 in the fourth set.
16:17 IST: Rafa is fighting tooth and nail in the fourth. 30-15 up on his serve.
16:14 IST: Federer easily holds serve to make it 1-1 in the fourth.
16:11 IST: An unforced error from Federer helps Nadal hold his serve. The Spaniard leads 1-0 in the 4th.
16:10 IST: Federer putting pressure on the Nadal serve. 30-30!
16:07 IST: The fourth set is underway. Nadal under pressure.
16:05 IST: Immaculate drop shot from Federer to secure the third set. Federer leads 2-sets-to-1.
16:04 IST: Break point again for Nadal!
16:00 IST: Federer saves the break point with a precision forehand winner.
15:59 IST: Federer gets the break! He leads 5-1 in the third set. To serve for the set now.
15:57 IST: Break point for Federer!
15:55 IST: Great return from Federer. Rafa still 30-15 up on his serve.
15:53 IST: Federer holds serve to open the gap to 4-1.
15:50 IST: Nadal survives a marathon service game to get on the scoreboard in the third set.
15:48 IST: Nadal makes it deuce again.
15:47 IST: What a forehand cross-court from Federer. Nadal was right there but couldn't move an inch. Another break point!
15:45 IST: Nadal manages to save both!
15:42 IST: Another ripping forehand. Federer is decimating Nadal in the third. Two break points for the Swiss!
15:41 IST: Two consecutive aces and Federer races to a 3-0 lead. Fedex on fire!!
15:39 IST: Federer gets the break!! He leads 2-0 in the third.
15:38 IST: Fedex with a brilliant forehand winner and gets a break point. He made that look ridiculously easy.
15:36 IST: Nadal's serve now under pressure. Federer leads 30-love.
15:35 IST: Indian tennis superstar Leander Paes is certainly enjoying this battle.
15:34 IST: Federer hangs on by the skin of his teeth to take the 1st game in the third set.
15:33 IST: Another ace and another break point saved.
15:32 IST: Federer misses an easy volley but finds the net. Another break point for Rafa
15:31 IST: Fedex snuffs it out with an ace.
15:30 IST: Nadal has a break point early in the third set.
15:25 IST: Nadal takes the second set 6-3 to make it one-set-a-piece in the final.
15:24 IST: Three set points for Nadal
15:22 IST: A forehand winner sees Federer easily hold serve to make it 3-5. Nadal to serve for the 2nd set.
15:21 IST: Backhand winner and Federer is 40-15 up
15:19 IST: Australian Open EK Cam has spotted a certain someone.
15:18 IST: Easy hold of serve from Rafa. He leads 5-2. Federer will serve to stay alive in the 2nd set.
15:16 IST: Federer holds to stay in touch with Rafa. Nadal leads 4-2.
15:15 IST: Double fault from Federer. He's still 40-30 up!
15:14 IST: Amazing defence from Federer. Nadal had him on the ropes but the Swiss didn't give up.
15:09 IST: Federer gets the break! He trails 1-4 as Nadal still holds the advantage in the 2nd set.
15:08 IST: Now, Federer has a break point!
15:06 IST: Nadal gets the break, his second of the set. He leads 4-0!
15:05 IST: The Swiss manages to save two of them.
15:04 IST: Federer is starting to make errors on his forehand. Didn't see that in the first set. Nadal has three break points!!
15:02 IST: Nadal manages to hold. He leads 3-0.
15:01 IST: Brilliant backhand cross-court and Federer's return is out. Another break point saved by Rafa.
14:59 IST: Overhead smash gives the Swiss star another break point.
14:59 IST: Deuce! Rafa hangs on.
14:57 IST: Federer now has a break point!
14:56 IST: Nadal forehand finds the net. 30-all on his serve. He needs to hold here.
14:54 IST: Nadal gets the break!! He leads 2-0 in 2nd set.
14:53 IST: Federer's backhand finds the net. Another break point for Nadal.
14:52 IST: Big error from Rafa on another passing shot.
14:51 IST: Brilliant forehand winner from Rafa. He has his first break point of the match.
14:49 IST: Double fault from Federer, his first of the final.
14:48 IST: Strong service hold from Nadal, leads 1-0 in 2nd set.
14:47 IST: Rafa takes 40-15 lead on his serve in the second set.
14:45 IST: Federer is looking in complete control. Rafa will need to up his game.
14:42 IST: Ace!! And Federer takes the 1st set 6-4.
14:41 IST: Two set points for Federer!
14:40 IST: Third ace for the match for Federer. He's 30-15 up!
14:38 IST: Nadal is yet to get his radar right on the cross-court backhand. But still manages to reduce the arrears to 4-5. Federer to serve for the first set!!
14:37 IST: Nadal showing some grit in his service game. Never the one to give up!
14:34 IST: Federer is looking in ominous touch. He is racking up the winners. Takes 5-3 lead with an ace. Yet to drop a point on his first serve.
14:31 IST: Federer breaks Nadal! He now leads 4-3 in the first set.
14:30 IST: Federer has two break points in the first now.
14:24 IST: Another strong service game from Nadal. He leads 3-2.
14:20 IST: Federer is nailing those forehand winners. All square at 2-2 as the Swiss easily holds serve.
14:18 IST: Jamie Murray gives his take on Federer's position on the baseline against Nadal.
Fed playing so close to baseline these days. His timing is off the charts but ultimate challenge - do that successfully vs Rafa topspin FH.— Jamie Murray (@jamie_murray) January 29, 2017
14:17 IST: Nadal gets lucky with a net point and closes out the game to take 2-1 lead.
14:16 IST: First double fault of the match and it's from Nadal. 30-all!!
14:14 IST: BOOM!! What a forehand winner from the Swiss. Nadal had no chance. Crisp, clean hitting from Federer already.
14:13 IST: Federer holds his serve to make it 1-1. Nadal took a very deep position on Federer's first serve.
14:12 IST: Federer with a brilliant forehand winner makes it 40-15 on his serve.
14:08 IST: Nadal comfortably holds serve to love and takes a 1-0 lead in the final.
14:07 IST: First point of the final goes to Nadal as Federer makes a backhand error.
14:06 IST: Nadal starts with a fault!
14:05 IST: And we are all set to begin!!
13:58 IST: Rafael Nadal wins the toss and will serve first in the final
13:56 IST: This is what the two players will be battling out for.
13:55 IST: Here come the two players. Federer followed by Nadal. Both get a standing ovation from the crowd at the Rod Laver Arena.
13:38 IST: This will be the ninth meeting in a Grand Slam final between these two legends. And a mouth-watering clash awaits us all.
13:33 IST: Earlier in the day there was bad new for Indian tennis fans as Sania Mirza and her Croatian partner Ivan Dodig lost out to Abigail Spears and Juan Sebastian Cabal in the mixed doubles final.
13:32 IST: We are about half an hour away from the start of what is expected to be a memorable final between the golden oldies of men's tennis.
13:30 IST: Hello and welcome to the live blog of the 2017 Australian Open men's singles final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Swiss maestro Federer, on the other hand, himself stated that he was on "one leg" as he missed the latter half of the 2016 season due to his knee surgery, not to mention his back which also bothered him.
But there they are. The two greats will once again take on each other in what will be their first Major final since the 2011 French Open when Nadal won in four sets.
With Federer and Nadal both returning from injuries, and neither having won a Major since mid-2014, a ninth Grand Slam final between two of the most dominant men in the sport was considered an extreme long shot at Melbourne Park. Nadal leads Federer leads 6-2 in Major finals.