Craig Tiley recalls epic 2017 AO final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

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Craig Tiley recalls epic 2017 AO final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley absolutely enjoyed every second of the 2017 Australian Open final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Nadal and Federer, considered by many as the greatest rivalry in tennis history, clashed in what turned out to be a memorable final.

In the 2017 Australian Open final, Federer edged out Nadal 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 to win his first Grand Slam since 2012 Wimbledon. “Who can forget the 2017 final, Rafa v Roger! At one point, it looked like Roger was going to win it in the fourth set.

Rafa took that set and then took a lead in the fifth set. It looked like he was on a roll. I remember being up, talking to a few people, and thinking maybe this is the beginning of Rafa finishing the set pretty quickly but it wasn't," Tiley said in his interview with the Australian Open, as quoted on Sportskeda.

‘The Nadal and Federer final the most memorable’

“Roger took a turn. 3-1, he was down, and very quickly, it became three all. It's a different match. That has to be the most memorable match, [it] certainly was the most memorable I had experienced at Melbourne Park," added Tiley.

For the second year in a row, Federer skipped the Australian Open. Federer underwent a knee surgery in August and he is hoping to return at some point in 2022. On the other side, Nadal was through to the Australia Open third round after beating Yannick Hanfmann 6-2 6-3 6-4.

“Having played him before at Roland Garros I knew that he is dangerous,” Nadal said after beating Hanfmann. “His result against Thanasi [Kokkinakis] in the first round says that he is playing great and coming from the qualies he was used to the courts. He has big shots, a good serve and has a lot of potential. Today his level was much higher than his ranking says”.