Roger Federer has opened up about his state of mind after going down to Novak Djokovic in an epic Wimbledon final in July.
Federer concedes it took a family holiday to help him recover from losing to Djokovic, when he blew two match points and lost all three tie-breaks.
The Swiss maestro missed the opportunity to extend his record grand slam haul to 21 majors after going down to the Serb 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 13-12 (7-3) in a gruelling four hour and 57 minute battle.
The 38-year-old held himself together in the immediate aftermath to the heartbreaking loss.
Two months on, however, Federer has revealed just how disappointing the defeat to Djokovic was.
In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, he said: “The last time I cried? Two months ago at Wimbledon.
“In the field and also at the awards ceremony I held back the tears that were there on the border.
“Then as soon as I got down to the locker room, on the first comment ‘what bad luck, you were close'... I collapsed and a few tears escaped.”
Federer revealed camping in the Swiss Alps with his wife and children did much to erase memories of the loss, which included a championship decider that built to a draining crescendo in the game’s first 12-12 tie‑break in the final set.
“I struggled a little bit the first couple of days after that,” he said but then I was caravanning with my kids so I didn’t have that much time to think about all the missed opportunities.
"I was setting up tables and organising my life for my four children, driving around the beautiful countryside in Switzerland.
The 20-time grand slam champion said despite the disappointment, he was happy to be part of a final that will be remembered as one of the greatest in Wimbledon history.
"You go a couple of days when you get those things out of your system. Then first couple of days back playing tennis, you have a few flashbacks," he said.
“But I’m very happy I was part of an entertaining match. The crowd paid big money to be part of it. I put up a great fight. Someone had to win.
"Novak was the better man on the day. It’s tough but I’ve been there before. Had some tough losses, some great wins as well."
Federer suffered more disappointment during the final grand slam of the year, when Grigor Dimitrov knocked him out in the quarter-finals of the US Open.
The Swiss ace now has the Laver Cup to look forward to and the challenge for his Team Europe to preserve their unbeaten record this weekend.
Federer targeting Laver Cup success
The third edition of the new annual teams' event gets under way in Geneva on Friday with Federer and Rafael Nadal once again spearheading Team Europe against Kyrgios and company's Team World.
Team World's top-ranked player, world No.20 John Isner, is under no illusions as to the enormity of his side's challenge, branding the star-studded opposition as "the greatest team of all time".
Federer, though, is on guard, mindful of the threat that Isner, Kyrgios and the supersonic serving of former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic pose in the shortened format.
Federer and Nadal will be joined in Team Europe by fellow top-tenners Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and the 11th-ranked Fabio Fognini, with Taylor Fritz, Denis Shapovalov and Jack Sock rounding out Team World.
"We have incredible depth," Federer said.
"The problem is we are indoors, best of three (sets), super-tiebreaker in the third, and we are playing against big servers who like the indoors and all have a big forehand.
"So as much as we are the favourites, I do think it's going to be extremely tight. They are really good at doubles.
"Obviously Jack I think is one of the world's best doubles players if not the absolute best right now.
"We know how hard it's going to be."
Rafael Nadal (world No.2), Roger Federer (3), Dominic Thiem (5), Alexander Zverev (6), Stefanos Tsitsipas (7), Fabio Fognini (11). Alternate: Roberto Autista-Agut (10).
John Isner (20), Milos Raonic (24), Nick Kyrgios (27), Taylor Fritz (30), Denis Shapovalov (33), Jack Sock (210). Alternate: Jordan Thompson (53).