Roger Federer could become the first man to win 20 Grand Slam championships and break a ridiculous list of records when he faces Marin Cilic in the Australian Open final at the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.
The 36-year-old progressed to the last two of the Open, and a world record 30th Grand Slam final, by defeating Hyeon Chung (6-1, 5-2) after the South Korean retired with a blister on his foot.
Croat Cilic prevailed against 23-year-old Briton Kyle Edmund 6-2, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 to reach the final.
The 36-year-old Federer would not have believed that he could have won yet more Grand Slams a year ago, but after his 2017 Melbourne and Wimbledon wins, the veteran has undergone a renaissance which has propelled him to second in the ATP World rankings.
“I know how hard it is to win on clay, how hard it is to win any major for that matter. It doesn’t come around so easily,” Federer said.
“I was fighting so hard for so many years and ran into Novaks and Rafas and other great players along the way that blocked it for me for a while.
“I wouldn’t say I gave up hope but I would have been happy with one more major before I retired. I would have taken that. Now I’ve got two more, maybe a third. One match away. We will see what happens.”
Federer could win his 20th Grand Slam victory and would be the first male to achieve that feat, three women have reached and surpassed the 20 milestone — Margaret Court (24), Serena Williams (23) and Steffi Graf (22).
The Swiss has also reached the final against Cilic without dropping a set, only 17 times has a man won a Grand Slam singles title by not losing a set all tournament.
Federer was the last to achieve this at Wimbledon last year.
Federer’s somewhat unbelievable longevity will also be on show as he moves into outright first place on the longest streak of years winning at least one major championship — a Grand Slam, a Masters 1000 event, or a World Tour Finals.
It would also be the first time Federer defended a title successfully since 2007 and 2008, when he retained the US Open.
He would also become the joint-most decorated Australian Open winner with six Grand Slam wins when he meets Cilic this Sunday.
And finally, Federer can also tie the record for the most Grand Slam titles won after the age of 30.
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