“That kind of electric atmosphere“
“It was probably the most demanding, mentally most demanding, match I was ever part of,” he said. “I had the most physically demanding match against Nadal in the finals of Australia that went almost six hours. But mentally this was different level, because of everything.”
The “everything” was the crowd. Of the 15,000 packed into the Centre Court, pretty much every one of them was cheering for Federer. And after five hours, that can become a little wearing, no matter how positive a chap is trying to be.
“When the crowd is chanting 'Roger' I hear 'Novak',” he said. “It sounds silly, but it is like that. I try to convince myself that it's like that.
“That was one thing that I promised myself coming on to the court today, that I need to stay calm and composed, because I knew that the atmosphere will be as it was.
“It's hard to not be aware [of the crowd]. You have that kind of electric atmosphere, that kind of noise, especially in some decisive moments where we're quite even. It's one way or another. The crowd gets into it.
“Of course, if you have the majority of the crowd on your side, it helps, it gives you motivation, it gives you strength, it gives you energy. When you don't, then you have to find it within, I guess.”