ESPN’s Chris Fowler discusses calling the spellbinding Australian Open

Hours before Roger Federer’s spellbinding victory over Rafa Nadal on Sunday in the men’s final of the Australian Open, ESPN tennis announcer Chris Fowler told that the 2017 Australian Open would rank at the top of all his tennis broadcasting assignments.

Then came Federer’s 6–4, 3–6, 6–1, 3–6, 6–3 win over Nadal, an epic that will be remembered for generations given what was at stake in the GOAT discussion between the two players.

“It was a privilege to call and I won’t forget this night,” Fowler said an hour after Federer’s win. “It’s something to really savor. I wish more people understood and felt the power of the moments tennis can provide. At its best, it’s hard to match.”

In an interview with from his Melbourne hotel room on the morning of the Federer-Nadal match, Fowler discussed the particular challenges of calling this Federer-Nadal final (SI’s Jon Wertheim titled it “Fed-Nadal Bowl XXXV”). For starters, every U.S. tennis fan would view the broadcast through his or her lens depending on how they felt about the players—arguably the two most popular men’s tennis players of all time.

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