"Honestly, to be frustrated at one point for over, I don't know, 15 hours [sic] throughout the match, I think it's normal".
The Serbian eventually completed a 7-6 6-4 6-3 win to reach an eighth Australian Open.
Federer headed straight off court for another medical timeout, this one apparently for treatment to his lower back, while Djokovic also consulted the doctor and took a pill. "I should have found a way to do that but I wasn't able to".
Stuck on 20 Grand Slams with time running out, Djokovic would move to within three of him if he beats either Dominic Thiem or Federer protege Alex Zverev in Sunday's final.
The Swiss legend thinks he's capable of adding two more major titles to his record-breaking trophy cabinet and is determined on returning to Melbourne Park next year. We know that. He makes you hit balls. We'll go from there.
So why hasn't Federer managed to win a Grand Slam match against Djokovic in eight years? I don't think I would have gone on court if I felt like I had no chance to win.
Djokovic then dominated the rest of the match as Federer put up a courageous resistance. "I've got to be happy with what I achieved", Federer told a news conference.
"The injury was probably not going to get worse, and if it did this would have been my first retirement today".
On the muggiest night of the Australian Open this year, Federer bolted out of the blocks, and those raucous ovations were at fever-pitch when he had triple break points for a 5-1 lead in the pair's 50th showdown.
"The way I also felt in the fifth was in some ways encouraging compared to the second and third what I had in the match with Sandgren".
"It was just something I had to do", Djokovic said, "because those few games, I really couldn't see much". "Nice entrance, nice send-off, and in between is one to forget because you know you have a three percent chance to win". No, look, at the end of the day I'm very happy.
"You never know what the future holds, especially at my age you don't know". No plans to retire, so from that standpoint, we'll see how the year goes and how everything's with the family and go from there. I understand. Back in the day I feel like we could speak to lines-people.