Denis Istomin

Federer savors unexpected title over long-time rival Nadal

Roger Federer always believed he had more Grand Slam titles left in him.

He just didn't think it would happen like this, playing in his first tournament following a six-month injury layoff. Or against his biggest rival in the game, Rafael Nadal.

"I said that also before the finals: if I were to win against Rafa, it would be super special and very sweet because I haven't beaten him in a Grand Slam final for a long, long time now," Federer said after beating Nadal in the Australian Open final 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

A decade, to be exact. Federer's last win over the Spaniard in a major final came at Wimbledon in 2007. Nadal had beaten him in four...