Melbourne: Moments after becoming the first man to win 20 Grand Slam titles by beating Marin Cilic in five gruelling sets in the Australian Open final, an emotional Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer said on Sunday that the fairytale continued for him.
"It was a long day, waiting for the final. Easier to play in the afternoon. But at night when you play, you have to wait all day for the final.
"The fairytale continues for me. After the great year I had last year...it's incredible," Federer said at the presentation ceremony.
Federer defeated Croatia's Cilic 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 to win the men's singles title, his sixth triumph at the Australian Open.
Federer is the first man to reach 30 Grand Slam finals and the oldest finalist in Melbourne since Ken Rosewall in 1972. Sunday's final was also the Swiss legend's 107th match at the Australian Open, the highest ever by any player.
A year ago, when he returned to the sport after a six-month hiatus, no one expected a comeback in this manner.
The 36-year-old hadn't won a Grand Slam in almost five years before roaring back at this very event to beat arch-rival Rafael Nadal in five sets.
"You fill the stadium, you make me nervous, and go out and practice. It would not be the same without you," Federer said to the fans before breaking down.
"I thank my team, I love you guys" he added.
Cilic, who fought hard, said he had a chance towards the start of the fifth set but then succumbed to Federer's superior class.
"I had a slight chance in the beginning of the fifth set but Roger played unbelievable tennis," Cilic said.
"It was a privilege playing here and I hope I will be playing here for many years to come," he added.