Emotions took over Roger
Roger Federer says he was overcome by the emotions of a major defeat when he broke down in tears on the presentation dais after losing the Australian Open to Rafael Nadal on Sunday.
The Spanish world number one downed the Swiss star in a thrilling five-set final 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 6-2 in four hours and 23 minutes to continue his Grand Slam domination over the Swiss star.
The loss meant Federer missed the chance to move equal with American Pete Sampras's world record 14 Grand Slam wins.
After being presented with the runner-up trophy by legendary Australian player Rod Laver, Federer said the realisation of the magnitude of the loss sunk in and he couldn't control his emotions.
"In the first moment you're disappointed, you're shocked, you're sad, you know, then all of a sudden it overwhelms you," Federer said.
"The problem is you can't go in the locker room and just take it easy and take a cold shower. You can't.
"You know, you're stuck out there. It's the worst feeling. So, I don't know, it's rough."
Federer said the emotions were even stronger because he thought the match was his for the taking -- he had 19 break point opportunities but could only convert six.
Crucially he was not able to convert any of the six chances he had in the third set, which Nadal went on to win in a tie-break.
"It is, sure, one of the matches in my career where I feel like I could have, or should have, won you know," he said.
"But you can't go through your whole life as a tennis player taking every victory that's out there.
"You've got to live with those, but they hurt even more so like if you're that close, you know, like at Wimbledon or like here at the Australian Open.
"So that's what's tough about it, but I have no regrets, so it's all right." Federer and Nadal were meeting for the first time since last year's epic Wimbledon final, when the Spaniard ended Federer's five-year hold on the trophy before deposing him as world number one.
They have now contested seven Grand Slam finals with Nadal holding a 5-2 edge in the meetings and 13-6 overall.
Both were fortunate to make the final, Federer almost falling to Czech player Tomas Berdych in the fourth round and Nadal surviving a five hour semifinal against countryman Fernando Verdasco.
Federer appeared back to his best in the quarter-finals, where he thrashed rising Argentine star Juan Martin del Potro, and in the semis where he beat an in-form Andy Roddick, so it came as a surprise when he started nervously.
He sprayed errors and double-faulted on break point before handing over the first set.
Federer recovered to push Nadal all the way, but he had trouble with his serve throughout the match, which he said cost him dearly.
"I don't think I served particularly well, unfortunately, and I think that was the key to the match in the end," he said, adding that he just tried to hang in when his serve went off the boil.