By Ros Satar, in Melbourne

  • Roger Federer [2] def. Marin Cilic [6] 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
  • Players were told half an hour before match
  • Explained why so emotional in his trophy speech
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Roger Federer spoke about what caused him to tear up as he received his sixth Australian Open trophy, and his 20th Slam title.

 

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Roger Federer withstood a spirited resistance from Marin Cilic as he won his sixth Australian Open title, bringing his tally of majors to 20.

Yet there was controversy as the Extreme Heat Policy rule was brought into play –for a night match. Considering that the women’s final had a heat-break of ten minutes after the second set, and the news that Simona Halep had spent four hours in hospital being treated for dehydration, questions surrounded why the heat rule had been put in play for Sunday.

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The temperatures were high, but had been higher in the first week, when no heat rule had been Implemented. Either way, it turns out both players were not consulted, but rather were told of the decision shortly before the match. The effect of Cilic was clear as he struggled to adjust to the cooler conditions under the roof, but Federer was unconvinced that it had been a factor.

He told reporters: “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 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.

“But I didn’t mind the heat, to be honest. I thought maybe for a bigger guy like Marin, maybe it’s also going to slow him down faster throughout the match. At the end, it’s not my decision. They kept me posted along the way.

“I was surprised to hear they had the heat rule in place for a night match. I never heard that before. When I arrived to the courts, I was totally ready to play outdoors. They told me they were thinking — they think it will probably be indoor. 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.”

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His emotions had got the better of him on court, and his lack of a message to fans to see them next year had many wondering if he felt he would not be back. In truth the emotions were down to the fact he had expended so little energy on his route to the final, the nervous energy had been building up.

He explained: “I got to the finals very quickly. The semis was cut short. I had a lot of emotions left in me because I didn’t have to go to extreme like last year against Nishikori, Stan, so forth.

“I think when it was all said and done, it reminded me very much of the Baghdatis final, which was tough. I was the favourite. I got to the finals in a really good manner. Then when it was all said and done, Rocket gave me the trophy, I was standing in front of the people, I don’t know, it’s when it really hits me.

“When I start thinking about what I was going to say, every subject I touch actually is very meaningful and very emotional. Thanking your team, congratulating Marin, thanking the people, thanking the tournament.

“But I hoped over time in the speech I would start to relax a little bit, but I couldn’t. It was what it was. I wish it wasn’t so sometimes. At the same time I’m happy I can show emotions and share it with the people. If I got emotional, it’s because it was a full crowd again. No people in the stadium wouldn’t make me emotional, I’ll tell you that. This is for them really also.”

Federer is not scheduled for any tournaments in the next few weeks.

 

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