Federer hampered by groin niggle

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after defeating Stan Wawrinka.
Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after defeating Stan Wawrinka. MADE NAGI

A GROIN injury could yet come between Roger Federer and a place in tennis history.

Federer is bidding for an 18th career grand slam on Sunday night night when he takes on either Rafael Nadal or Grigor Dimitrov in the final of the Australian Open.

The 35-year-old, who has not won a major title in four-and-a-half years, had to take a medical time-out during his five-set semi-final success over Stan Wawrinka on Thursday night.

"I just hoped that maybe having the physio work on it, that it would make me feel better. But it didn't,” Federer said.

"The leg wasn't better or worse in the fifth. I felt tightness throughout the match, and I felt like it slowed me down.

"It's not something I'm necessarily really worried about in any way. So that's a good thing.”

The father of two sets of twins is also looking to become the oldest men's grand slam champion since Ken Rosewall won the 1972 Australian Open at 37.

When asked whether the nagging injury would affect his performance in the final, Federer answered: "I mean, no. If I had to say anything right now, no.”

Last year Federer had to take time out following Wimbledon to have surgery on a knee injury.

The four-time Open champion said he was right to end his campaign when he did last year, giving him the best shot of success at Melbourne Park, although he did not believe he would get this far into the tournament.

"What I've just come to realise is when you don't feel well, you have too many problems going on - you just won't beat top-10 players,” he said.

"At some point, you reach a limit ... You just can't win back-to-back, just not feeling free enough, in your mind, in your body.

"That's where both, I guess, Rafa (Nadal) and myself said, 'Okay, enough of this already. Let's get back to 100%, enjoy tennis again, enjoy the practice.'

"Not just practice, treatment, practice, treatment, match, treatment. All the time, all you're doing is fighting the fire.

"From that standpoint, the six months definitely gave me something in return.

"I didn't go into a direction where I felt like I had to reorganise my life or reorganise my tennis in any way.

"I just wanted to get healthy again.”

Topics:  australian open tennis roger federer

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