2 Feb 2009

Nadal floors Federer in epic final

3:11 pm on 2 February 2009

Rafael Nadal has shattered Roger Federer's dream of a record-equalling 14th grand slam tennis title, winning a five-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 a 7-5 3-6 7-6 3-6 6-2 victory.

It was the first five-set final at the Australian Open in 21 years, and so close was the contest that Federer actually won more points in the match - 174 to Nadal's 173. It was the Spaniard, though, who clinched the key ones.

One of sport's greatest rivalries was underlined by extraordinary scenes during the presentation ceremony, as Federer broke down, unable to address a crowd which was giving him a standing ovation.

He stepped away to regain his composure, and Nadal put his arm around his great rival before delivering an epitaph fitting such a momentous match.

"Sorry for today, I really know how you feel right now is really tough," the world number one told the man whose top ranking he seized.

"But remember, you are a great champion and you're one of the best (in) history."

Nadal has won six Grand Slams, and needs a US Open title to complete the full set.