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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 January 2006, 11:36 GMT
Federer fights back to take title
Roger Federer
Federer won his first Australian Open title two years ago
Roger Federer overcame a mighty scare to beat unseeded 20-year-old Marcos Baghdatis and claim his second Australian Open title in Melbourne.

The world number one was in serious trouble at a set and a break down but held his nerve.

He reeled off 11 games as Baghdatis tired, and the Cypriot needed treatment on his calf in the closing set.

Federer, however, got stronger as the match went on, winning 5-7 7-5 6-0 6-2 for his seventh Grand Slam title.

As the world number 54 and playing far and away the biggest match of his career, Baghdatis was a huge outsider against a man who had never lost a Grand Slam final.

But the Cypriot had seen off Andy Roddick, Ivan Ljubicic and David Nalbandian on his way to the final and was not short on confidence.

It was Baghdatis who set the pace as the match started and his huge hitting and impressive serve had Federer struggling.

The pair swapped breaks in games five and six but it was an edgy Federer who made the crucial mistake in game 12, dumping two shots in the net as he lost the set.

Baghdatis powered on at the start of the second, converting his third break point to move further ahead and wasting two chances in game three for a double break.

That gave Federer a lifeline and the top seed capitalised immediately, recovering the break and from 5-5 going on a run of 11 games that virtually sealed the match.

Baghdatis suffered a fall in game two of the fourth set and immediately called the trainer but the damage was already done.

He bravely battled on and forced one more break point but Federer was not to be denied, sealing victory when Baghdatis hit a backhand into the net.

As the Wimbledon and US Open champion, Federer becomes the first man since Pete Sampras in 1993-94 to win three consecutive Grand Slam titles.

And after receiving the trophy from Rod Laver an emotional Federer broke down in tears, embracing the Australian who was the last man to win all four Grand Slams in one year.

That will now be the target for Federer, who will go for a first French Open crown in May.

Highlights: Federer v Baghdatis

Interview: Roger Federer

Interview: Marcos Baghdatis


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