ICYMI: Usain Bolt, Russell Crowe among those reacting to riveting Aussie Open final

Federer would have been happy to lose, accept a draw to Nadal (1:41)

Roger Federer congratulates Rafael Nadal for his comeback and reaching the men's final, saying how he would have been happy to lose or draw the match with Nadal. Federer goes on to thank his team for preparing him to compete in the Australian Open. (1:41)

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Beforehand, it was billed by many to be the most important Grand Slam match ever played. After five breathtaking sets, it did not disappoint -- at all.

Two of the sport's most celebrated talents, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, squaring off in a Grand Slam final one more time, a scene we surely thought we wouldn't see again. Except we did.

In the end, Federer completed his unprecedented comeback by downing Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, adding an 18th Grand Slam title to the Swiss' name. READ MORE

The numbers crunch:

  • This was the ninth major final meeting between Nadal and Federer, the most in men's history.

  • Federer became the oldest man to win a Grand Slam title since Ken Rosewall in the 1972 Australian Open.

  • This was the first time in Federer's Grand Slam history he's played three or more five-set matches in a single tournament.

  • Federer also became just the fourth player in the Open era to defeat four top-10 seeds in a Grand Slam.

What a match!

Tennis fans and other sporting stars from around the globe couldn't take their eyes off the historic match, taking to social media to show their delight.

A touching tribute

The only thing that came close to rivaling the brutal, high-quality encounter was the heartfelt postmatch trophy presentation.

A defeated Nadal praised his great rival for his stunning comeback while Federer wished he could have called the match a draw.

Oh, and what a wonderful sight this was with great Aussie legend Rod Laver sandwiched in between the two finalists.