Roger Federer reveals the secret behind historic Australian Open win

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No one quite knew what to expect from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final last month but boy, were we treated to a spectacle.

Federer took the lead not once, but twice, in sets but was pegged back on both occasions by his arch nemesis.

A thrilling final set saw Nadal go 3-1 ahead but, as he has done so many times throughout his career, Federer fought back and eventually secured his 18th Grand Slam title.

In doing so, the 35-year-old became the oldest player to win a Grand Slam for 45 years - but how does he do it?

That's the question everyone keeps asking themselves. Federer is undoubtedly in the twilight years of his career yet he keeps producing the goods.

Well, as it turns out, there's a rather lovely secret to his longevity at the top of tennis.

In a recent interview with Tennis World USA, Federer was asked how he's managed to stay competitive into his mid-30s.

He puts it down to three important factors - and raw talent isn't one of them: enjoying tennis, a smart schedule and a loving family.

"[The first thing is to enjoy and love tennis] because if you don't love it, then it's just going to be too hard," he explained.

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"I think that's kept me going quite easily actually, because I know why I'm playing tennis. Deep down that's really important."

On having a smart schedule, he added: "I always make sure I have enough breaks, enough holidays, build up, tournaments, practice. The whole thing needs to come together.

"Maybe it's tricky coming back the first couple of matches, but once you're in, it's a big advantage you had time off.

"It's not easy to sit on the sidelines to see four, eight to 10 guys winning tournaments while you're sitting at home working out. Working out doesn't give you a whole lot of points."

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And on having a loving family, he concluded: "I definitely think [family life] has had a positive effect on me as a person and my life, as a player. My relationship with my wife, it's been wonderful."

So there you have it: if you want to win 18 Grand Slam titles and become the greatest tennis player of all time, follow those three steps.

But you will also have to be really, really good at tennis.

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