Roger Federer broke down in tears as he was declared the first man in history to win 20 Grand Slam titles.
The incredible and inspiring feat of sporting history was achieved after Federer delivered a masterclass performance at the Australian Open.
The Swiss tennis pro looked overwhelmed lifting the trophy after he knocked out Croatia’s Marin Cilic in a gripping five-set match.
Sunday’s match, at the Rod Laver arena, marked Federer’s sixth Australian Open victory, and his thirtieth ever Grand Slam final.
The 36-year-old said the experience was a ‘fairytale’, adding:
I’m so happy, it’s unbelievable. It’s a long day waiting for the finals. It’s easier in the afternoon. I’m happy it’s over now but the fairytale continues for me after the great year I had last year, it’s incredible.
Federer was seen reaching up to his wife of nine years, Mirka, who was watching on as he took the title, in a heart-warming moment of celebration.
Federer’s victory seemed uncertain for a short period on Sunday, when the champion was forced into a fifth set after showing he was human by wavering in the fourth.
But he finally saw off the challenge of Cilic to win the final 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in a tense three hours and three minutes.
The gracious but valiant loser, Cilic added:
Big congratulations to Roger and his team, it’s amazing what you do year after year.
It was an amazing journey for me to come to the final. I had a slight chance at the beginning of the fifth but Roger played a great set.
Federer shared the happy news with his Twitter followers with a selfie of champions:
The champ has now drawn level with Novak Djokovic on six Australian titles. He is also the fourth person in history to hit the twenties in Major singles titles, the others being Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf.
The victory means he is also nearly back as world No 1, now just 155 points behind Rafael Nadal.
Congratulations, Roger – a truly deserving champion!