Roger Federer has revealed how the thrill of winning big matches on the biggest stage is helping him remain successful despite his age.
It continues what has been an unimaginable last 12 months so far as the 36-year-old has defied injuries and age to enjoy a major career renaissance.
Federer began his resurgence by winning the 2017 Australian Open – his first Grand Slam win since 2012. He followed it up with a record-eighth Wimbledon championship and ended the year with seven titles.
With yet another Grand Slam title to his name now, the Swiss ace seems likely to exceed expectations again this year. When asked how he is able to retain the hunger for success, Federer spoke about the challenge.
"Maybe it is still winning the big matches on the biggest stages," Federer told Fox Sports via Express. "Reliving those moments and thinking 'Can I do it again? How will I feel if I do it again?'
"I enjoy the process of showing up 30 days before the final and trying to get myself in shape. I don't mind all the stuff that comes with being a tennis player.
"I always wanted to be a tennis player but didn't expect to play as well as I did. While I'm enjoying it why should I give it up[?]"
However, Federer claims the prospect of winning a 20th major title only became real to him after his semi-final opponent in Hyeon Chung retired, as he did not expect to win a second Australian Open title in as many years.
"I think all of this stuff I had to digest in some way because I don't really remember taking the plane at the end of December last year to Australia thinking 'I'm going to come back with 20'," Federer said.
"I never really thought that and then when all of a sudden Hyeon retired in the semis it was real. It was like 'I could maybe get to 20.'"