Roger Federer always says that he is more relaxed now than in the past, but sometimes he is human too. After his five-set win over Marin Cilic in the Australian Open final on Sunday, the Swiss admitted he felt very nervous before the match.
'You can't explain it sometimes,' he said. 'It is just a feeling you get. It's like against Berdych, I felt, like, I'm probably going to lose this one. I was not negative, but I just felt like I saw a loss was coming somehow.
Not because I was not feeling good or anything, I just felt like maybe Berdych is really feeling it. Today for the finals, I didn't fall asleep very well after the Chung match. I think it surprised me that at this stage of a competition in semis, to get a walkover, that was very odd for me.
I couldn't fall asleep until about 3 in the morning. All of the next day I was already thinking about how should I play Marin, how cool would it be to win 20, but no, don't think of it, but how horrible would it be to lose it.
I had it for over 36 hours, to be honest. It was a lot. I felt like the finals came very quickly because of not dropping any sets and stuff, still having so many emotions left. I needed to probably work through these emotions this way.
That's what made me nervous. But it's all good. I had a good start to the match. I think I lost the second because of nerves, to be honest. It's all good. I like to care. It's good I can care about these matches.' Speaking about his thoughts at the start of the fifth set, Federer said, 'Just really trying to get back winning a game again because he came back from 3-2 maybe and won four straight.
So for me it was really just trying to break his momentum. Tried to serve well. Tried to get lucky a little bit. I think I was able to get that first game, at least get on the board. From then on, maybe momentum shifts a little bit, and it's exactly what happened.
I think experience helped me there a little bit, and also a little bit of luck, I felt like I needed a little bit tonight.' Federer was also asked about having the final indoors. He said, 'I wasn't sure if it was good for me or not, to play under the roof or not.
Of course, I backed myself in the sort of indoor conditions. This is where my first success ever came. I do think back that usually when I play indoors, it's good for me. I was surprised to hear they had the heat rule in place for a night match.
I never heard that before. When I arrived at the courts, I was totally ready to play outdoors. They told me they were thinking -- they think it will probably be indoors. Then they kept me posted along the way. Half an hour before, we got the word that it's going to be indoors.
For me, it doesn't change anything in the preparation, to be honest. I was ready for either.' Federer also commented on Caroline Wozniacki's win: 'It was a kind of match people were hoping for.
When you get it, your first one for Halep or Wozniacki, it doesn't come the easy way, a 6-2, 6-2 match. You have to fight for it. You think you have it, you lose it, in the end, you still get it. I was very happy for her, but also at the same time very sad for Simona.
They both had brutal tournaments. Winning the first one clearly is incredibly special. I'm sure she's over the moon right now, which she should be. Got to celebrate like it's your last one. I don't mean that in a negative way, but you don't know if you're ever going to feel the same emotions ever again.
Stars aligned for her this tournament.' Federer indicated several reasons for his longevity: 'At the end, it's seeing that my parents are incredibly proud and happy that I'm still doing it.
They enjoy coming to tournaments. That makes me happy and play better. Then, of course, my wife who makes it all possible. Without her support, I wouldn't be playing tennis anymore since many years. But we had a very open conversation, if she was happy to do this or not, years ago.
I'm happy that she's super supportive, and she's willing to take on a massive workload with the kiddies. Same for me, because I wouldn't want to be away from my kids for more than two weeks. This life wouldn't work if she said no.
Many puzzles need to fit together for me to be able to sit here tonight.' Finally, commenting on the importance of scheduling, Federer stated, 'I've won three slams now in 12 months. I can't believe it myself.
I just got to keep a good schedule, stay hungry, then maybe good things can happen. Then I don't think age is an issue, per se. It's just a number. But I need to be very careful in my planning, really decide beforehand what are my goals, what are my priorities.
I think that's what's going to dictate how successful I will be. Exciting times ahead.' ALSO READ: Sam Groth reveals when Roger Federer 'was the loudest bloke in locker room'