Federer says timeouts ‘more mental than anything’

Melbourne: Roger Federer admitted medical timeouts were “more mental than anything” after he went off for treatment at a key moment in his Australian Open semifinal with Stan Wawrinka on Thursday.
Federer said the injury break, for an upper-leg problem between the fourth and fifth sets, helped him clear his head before returning for the final set against his fellow Swiss.
Federer, who had lost the previous two sets, returned to win 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3 and reach his sixth Australian Open final, setting up a shot at a record-extending 18th major trophy.
“These injury timeouts, I think they’re more mental than anything else,” the 35-year-old said, when asked if it gave him a chance to clear his head. “For the first time maybe during a match you can actually talk to someone, even if it’s just a physio,” Federer added.
Medical timeouts have sometimes been controversial. At the 2014 Australian Open, Victoria Azarenka drew suspicions after going off at a critical point of her semifinal against Sloane Stephens.
Wawrinka also went off for treatment after losing the first two sets, and he returned to win the next two against Federer.
“It maybe relaxed Stan just to be able to talk about I don’t know what. The same thing for me, as well,” Federer said.
“You start chatting about it, how good or bad the leg is, how you hope it’s going to turn around.” — AFP