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Roger Federer's phenomenal indoor record leaves Cilic in the shade

The moment organisers decided to shut the roof on Rod Laver Arena, Roger Federer already had one hand on the Australian Open title.

On Sunday in withering Melbourne heat, Federer survived an onslaught from first-time finalist Marin Cilic to win his 20th grand slam title 6-2 6-7(5) 6-3 3-6 6-1 but former players Pat Cash and Greg Rusedski argued the circumstances had favoured the 36-year-old.

Temperatures in Melbourne had hovered in the high 30s Celsius for majority of the tournament and it was a surprise when the match started with the roof shut.

The roofs of the main showcourts at Melbourne Park are usually kept open but the organisers defended their decision in a statement saying "wet bulb globe temperature" readings had triggered the "extreme heat policy".

The conditions favoured Federer, who has a staggering 272-65 win-loss record on indoor courts and has lifted 23 career titles, only behind the American trio of Jimmy Connors (53), John McEnroe (52), Ivan Lendl (42) in the all-time rankings.

Former world number one Andy Murray comes closest among the current players on tour with 14 indoor titles, while the 29-year-old Cilic has eight to his name, the most recent win coming in Basel in 2016.

The Croatian fell short of saying the roof cost him a grand slam title but admitted the decision from the organisers did influence the match.

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