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It’s a strange sight: Roger Federer heading off-court for a medical timeout. And yet, that is what we witnessed during the final two rounds of this year’s Australian Open. Federer twice headed off court for treatment, once prior to the fifth set of his semifinal with Stan Wawrinka, and again prior to the fifth set of his epic victory over Rafael Nadal in the final.

More: Nadal Looking Forward to Clay with No Regrets

While commentating for the BBC, Pat Cash called Federer out for his loose interpretation of the rules, saying what the 18-time major champion was doing was wrong.

"You can't just stop a marathon if you're tired... I can't stress how bad this (tournament) has been supervised or looked at by the medical team here in the whole tour," Cash told BBC’s Radio 5 Live in the aftermath of Federer's 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 victory over Nadal. "It's wrong, wrong and wrong... It's cheating and it's being allowed. It's legal cheating but it's still not right," added Cash.

Federer was asked about Cash’s comments in his post-match press conference. Here is his reply.

Q. The medical timeout, there were some quite adverse comments about that.
ROGER FEDERER: What is 'adverse comments'?

Q. Critical comments. I think Pat Cash said it was legalized cheating. Can you tell us what was going on there, what the reason was.
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I mean, I explained myself a couple of days ago after the Stan match. Yeah, my leg has been hurting me since the Rubin match. I was happy that I was able to navigate through the pain. For some reason against Stan I had it from the start on both sides of the groin.

After he 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 after probably -- well, I felt my quad midway through the second set already, and the groin started to hurt midway through the third set. I just told myself, The rules are there that you can use them. I also think we shouldn't be using these rules or abusing the system. I think I've led the way for 20 years.

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 talking about.

Federer’s medical timeout may have been called into question by Cash because the Swiss seemed to hint that the timeout he took against Wawrinka was a tactical boon.

“I think these injury timeouts, I think they're more mental than anything else,” he said after his win over Wawrinka in the semifinals. “I only really did take the timeout because I thought, ‘He took one already, maybe I can take one for a change,’ because I'm not a believer in any way that we should be allowed to take a lot of timeouts. But I took it after the set break.”