I don’t have much to say about Roger Federer’s 5-set victory over Tomas Berdych today in the fourth round of the Australian Open. I’m just praying that he has a good masseuse. I’ll leave the post-match commentary to him (with my emphasis in italic blue):
Q. You said that after three and a half hours you were still fresh and fit. There’s a lot made of Murray and Nadal’s fitness. Do you feel you’re as fit as these guys?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I mean, I’ve played five hours against Rafa on clay and against other players as well. These kind of tests don’t come around very often. I had a time in my career I hardly played five‑setters, like for two or three years, so I didn’t know why where I was until all of a sudden that crazy match with Safin here in 2005.
Then I knew where I was. I was in pain because of my feet. That was a different issue. It’s good to have five‑setters to see where you’re at. I don’t know how fit Murray is. I’ll take him on any day in a five‑setter. He’s younger so he’s probably not so experienced, you know.
In the end it becomes very mental, and I know that this is where my biggest strengths always comes into play. That’s why I’m always going to favor myself in a fifth set.
Q. Today when you were two sets down, is there a little bit of panic that comes, or do you start to ever to say to yourself, I’m in trouble?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know what I feel. I wasn’t thinking of losing, that’s for sure. The finish line was still very far for Tomas. I knew that. You can still concentrate on playing just the points instead of thinking, Oh, my God, what’s going to happen?
I didn’t feel that way. I kind of felt after a terrible first set from my side that if I probably want to win this it’s going to go to five sets. I just felt it. I knew Tomas was dangerous, and if I played even still a great set or three great sets it’s probably not going to happen. He would squeeze one great set in there somewhere, second, third, or fourth.
That’s why I kind of was prepared for five from the start. I think that’s what made me be so determined towards the end. It was nice being in a battle with him. It was fair play. It was tough, good tennis towards the end. I believed in it all the way, and I think that was key in the end.
Keep believing Roger – you’re nowhere near the end.