Stan Wawrinka revealed he was shaking and in tears over a fear of losing minutes before his US Open final win against Novak Djokovic.
The Swiss star secured his third grand-slam title with a 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 7-5 6-3 victory over world number one Djokovic at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday.
Wawrinka dropped five of the opening seven games of the New York decider before recovering to win in three hours, 54 minutes.
He revealed the nerves he felt just minutes before walking out on court, fixed - he said - by putting his "s*** together".
"Today, before the final, I was really nervous like never before. I was shaking in the locker room," Wawrinka said.
"When we start five minutes before the match talking, last few things with Magnus [Norman, coach], I start to cry. I was completely shaking.
"But the only thing I was convinced with myself that my game was there. Physically I was there. My game was there. Put the fight on the court and you will have a chance to win.
"And that's what happened after a few games when I start to believe in myself, start to be in the match. I was only focused on the match, not what can happen if I win the match. Is it the final of the US? No, I'm just focused on what I'm doing in the court."
Wawrinka said his fear was down to not wanting to lose a grand-slam final, as he instead improved to 3-0 in major deciders.
After spending almost 22 hours on court to win the US Open, Wawrinka said it was his most difficult grand slam ever.
"You have to accept to suffer and you have almost to enjoy to suffer," he said.
"Because I think this grand slam was the most painful, physically and mentally, grand slam that I ever played.
"As I said, I was feeling tired already at the beginning of the match. I was feeling the cramp coming in the third set. In the fourth set I had some pain, but most important was what was clear with Magnus before was not to show anything. Not to show anything. Give everything and keep fighting and go try to win it."