Roger Federer overcame Marin Cilic in five sets on Sunday to win the Australian Open, much to the delight of his huge following across the world, Daily Mail reports.
The 36-year-old, who claimed a remarkable 20th Grand Slam title in Melbourne, was hugely lauded on social media by some of the top sports stars around the globe following his latest success.
Federer secured his sixth Melbourne crown – to equal Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic – with an absorbing victory over Cilic, who was chasing his second major victory after winning the US Open in 2014.
The Swiss started in imperious fashion against his opponent but was forced to dig deep amid a barrage of powerful forehands from the Croatian, who forced a decider by winning five successive games in the fourth set, before prevailing 6-2 6-7(5) 6-3 3-6 6-1 in three hours and two minutes.
The likes of Eugenie Bouchard, Rio Ferdinand, Mesut Ozil and Martina Navratilova were among the stars to lead the tributes to one of the greatest sportsman of all time.
The 23-year-old Canadian Bouchard took to Twitter to post a photo of Federer’s face imposed onto internet sensation Salt Bae, while showing him sprinkling the Wimbledon, US Open, Australian Open and French Open titles.
Andrew Castle had some special words to give the Swiss athlete following his latest success. The 54-year-old said, “Federer is the 1st man to win 20 Grand Slam Singles titles. Really can’t imagine there is a greater sportsman than him.
“Only Court, Williams and Graf have won more Majors. Cilic was magnificent, especially after the disappointment of his Wimbledon final.”
Meanwhile, former Manchester United and England defender Ferdinand posted a couple of throwback pictures on Twitter of him chilling with Federer, while joking, “The coolest, most talented, most driven person to ever pick up a tennis racket.
“And the man doesn’t even break sweat winning these titles…. 20 Grand Slams!!!! Didn’t even sweat in the kitchen when he cooked me a three course meal!!”
Past and present German football stars Philipp Lahm and Ozil also took to their respective social media channels to congratulate Federer on his enthralling win in Melbourne.
Praise kept flooding in for Federer on social media, with Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan writing on Twitter, “Congratulations Roger Federer on yet another grand slam.
“Number 20, a truly remarkable feat. An inspiration to us all with the way you conduct yourself on and off the court. A legacy which should be followed by all.”