Federer hints at retirement after Aussie Open victory

Roger Federer has hinted that he may not return to defend his Australian Open title next year, after defeating his great rival Rafa Nadal in one of the greatest Grand Slam Finals in history.

The Swiss maestro suggested that this may well be his last appearance on the courts at Melbourne Park in his acceptance speech for his 18th Grand Slam title.

"I hope to see you next year, if not this was a wonderful run," Federer said, holding the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup.

Later, in his press conference, the 35-year-old elaborated on his earlier comments.

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Fed farewells the crowd. Pic: Getty

"I mean, this is all about, you know, knowing that I have only so much tennis left in me," Federer said.

"If I do get injured, you know, maybe if I miss next year. Who knows what happens.

"So it was just a way... You never know when your next Grand Slam is going to be, if ever.

"You never know if you're going to have an opportunity at this stage, I felt I could thank so many people at once.

"It's a live audience. It's a moment for me to be appreciative of them."

Federer's recent run of injuries was clearly front of mind as he discussed his future.

The five-time Aussie Open champion re-injured his knee in April last year while running a bath for his daughters, forcing him into the first surgery of his career.

"Yeah, I mean, look, I've had a tough year last year.

"I just meant it (retirement comments) the way I meant it. There wasn't something planned behind it, that this is my last Australian Open.

"I hope can I come back, of course. That's my hope right now."

His comments regarding retirement prompted immediate uproar from fans worldwide, who feared the superstar may soon quit the game.

Federer also had a cheeky response as a journalist began to ask him another question about retirement.

The journalist said: "We know you've been asked about retirement for about 10 years now."

"Seven." Federer replied sharply.