At 36 years and 173 days Federer is the oldest male winner of a Grand Slam title since Ken Rosewall won here in 1972 at the age of 37 years and 62 days.

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When my opponent tries to hit everything, I have an answer.

“And when my opponent tries to play maybe a little bit more into court I can attack, so that’s an answer.

Svitolina moved to 3-1 in the second set, reached 5-3 with an ace and served out victory a game later on her second match point.

“I’m very proud of myself already that I reached the final.

“We’ve had the best time as a family and a team.” Still struggling to get out his words, Federer thanked the Australian country and people for their hospitality, particularly the fans at this tournament.

“This is tough,” Federer said at the end before thanking his team. Thank you.” A remarkable standing ovation followed as the whole stadium rose to applaud Federer for several minutes while the big screens showed the tears rolling down his face.

Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 on Saturday to reach the Rome Masters final.

Nadal, who is now 10-0 in semi-finals at the Foro Italico, broke loose after a tight first set lasting well over an hour to edge out Djokovic in their 51st career meeting in a rivalry stretching back to 2006.

You know, it was really tough, from the beginning, from the first match,” world number four Svitolina said.

“I work for these kind of matches, I work on it every day.

The watching Rod Laver was among those who got out their phones to record the occasion.