Roger Federer Hits Back At Pat Cash for Making 'Legal Cheating' Claim
Roger Federer slammed comments that he had engaged in "legal cheating" by taking a medical timeout at a crucial stage of his Australian Open victory over Rafael Nadal on Sunday.
Roger Federer with the Australian Open 2017 trophy. (Getty Images)
Melbourne: Roger Federer slammed comments that he had engaged in "legal cheating" by taking a medical timeout at a crucial stage of his Australian Open victory over Rafael Nadal on Sunday.
Federer went off for treatment just before the deciding fifth set, after Nadal had levelled the match at two sets all, and returned to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
Australia's former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash criticised Federer, who also had a timeout before the fifth set of his semi-final with Stan Wawrinka.
"It's wrong, wrong and wrong. It's cheating and it's being allowed. It's legal cheating, but it's still not right."
But Federer defended his right to receive treatment, saying he had been feeling pain in his upper right thigh for much of the tournament.
"I also think we shouldn't be using these rules or abusing the system. I think I've led the way for 20 years," he said.
Federer said his leg had been hurting since his second-round match with Noah Rubin, and the pain spread during his match with Wawrinka.
"After he (Wawrinka) took a medical timeout, I thought I could also take one for a change and see if actually something like a massage during the match is actually going to help me," he said.
Federer finished the match strongly, fighting back from a break down to break Nadal twice and pull off a record-extending 18th major win.
The 35-year-old becomes the oldest Grand Slam winner in 45 years, in what was a surprise victory on his return from six months out with a knee injury.
"We're going to be partying like rock stars tonight, I can tell you that," he said.
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