Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has won his third Australian Open after beating Fernando Gonzalez of Chile 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-4 in Melbourne on Sunday.This content was published on January 28, 2007 - 12:07
The world number one improved his winning streak to a career-best 36 matches and advanced through a major without dropping a set for the first time. He has now won ten grand slam titles.
Tenth-seeded Gonazalez, who was playing his first grand slam final, kept Federer under pressure at the beginning of the match.
But Federer hit back to dominate the tie-break and one break was enough in each of the second and third sets.
"It is just wonderful. I've had a great run again this year, I'm very proud to be holding this trophy again," said Federer after the match.
"I was nervous at the beginning and let a few chances pass me by. I then had to get used to Gonzalez's different style of playing. Who knows what would have happened had he won the first set. Then everything went very well."
Gonzalez, who is Olympic doubles champion, said Federer was simply too good.
"He's a great champion, he played a really good match today, all week - almost all his life," said Gonzalez.
Federer's impressive run continues. Sunday's match was the first time since Björn Borg won the 1980 French Open title that a champion went through a major without dropping a set, and the first time at the Australian Open since Ken Rosewall in 1971.
The 25-year-old Swiss and world number also becomes the first man in the Open era to win three straight majors twice and has won six of the last seven Grand Slam titles – his only loss was in the French Open to Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
And he is now one title away from joining Borg and Australian legend Rod Laver on 11 grand slam tournament wins.
Federer's victory in Australia sets the Swiss on course for a Grand Slam – wins in the US, Australian and French Opens as well as Wimbledon - this year.
Last year Federer was the first man since Laver completed his second Grand Slam in 1969 to make the finals of all four majors in a season.
"My season can only get better if I win the French Open," said Federer. "Of course I'll give it a go."
swissinfo with agencies
The Australian Open is one of four grand slam tournaments of the ATP circuit.
The others are the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
Australia's Rod Laver was the last man to win all four grand slam events in the same year (1969). Steffi Graf did it in 1988 (also winning the Olympic Gold).
Federer has clinched three of the grand slam tournaments twice (2004 and 2006), but has never won the French Open.
Roger Federer won 92 matches in 2006. He lost on only five occasions, four times against Rafael Nadal.
He won 12 tournaments, including the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
The International Tennis Federation named Federer player of the year in 2006. He is only the fourth player to be named men's world champion for three consecutive years, following Björn Borg, Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras.
He was also voted Swiss sports personality of the year in the recent Credit Suisse Sports Awards held in Bern.
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