Federer: No truth to ‘legal cheating’ claims

Roger Federer has strongly denied allegations he was indulging in "legal cheating" by taking a medical timeout at a crucial point in his victory over Rafael Nadal in the final of the Australian Open.

Shortly after Nadal hit back to take the fourth set and level the scores at two sets apiece, Federer briefly halted the Spaniard's momentum by taking a timeout for some treatment on his upper right leg.

While Nadal would break Federer's serve immediately after, the Swiss was able to hit back with two breaks of his own to turn the tables and claim his 18th Grand Slam victory.

After the match, former Australian Grand Slam champion Pat Cash said that by taking the timeout when he did, Federer was effectively engaging in "legal cheating".

"You can't just stop a marathon if you're tired…I can't stress how bad this has been supervised or looked at by the medical team here in the whole tour," Cash told BBC radio.

"It's wrong, wrong and wrong. It's cheating and it's being allowed. It's legal cheating, but it's still not right."

Federer has denied any wrongdoing, however, saying he was in pain and needed the break.

"I also think we shouldn't be using these rules or abusing the system. I think I've led the way for 20 years," Federer said.

"So I think to be critical there is exaggerating. I'm the last guy to call a medical timeout. So I don't know what he's (Cash) talking about. After he (Wawrinka) took a medical timeout, I thought I could also take one for a change and see if actually something like a massage during the match is actually going to help me.

"It did a little bit potentially. I'm not sure. And then today I felt my quad midway through the second set, and the groin started to hurt midway through the third set," Federer added.

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