Roger Federer says he’s on song for the Australian Open. Picture: Getty Images
Roger Federer says he’s on song for the Australian Open. Picture: Getty Images

Federer in perfect shape for Open

WITH retirement looming and no plans beyond 2019, Roger Federer hopes he can conjure another Australian Open miracle after a flawless off-season.

Seeking a 21st singles major and 100th title overall at Melbourne Park from January 14-27, the Swiss maestro has conceded he was at the "back end" of a phenomenal career.

But, at 37, the superstar's ambitions burn fiercely as he bids to land a third consecutive grand slam crown at Rod Laver Arena.

"I've actually had a great build-up. I didn't miss any sessions in Dubai," Federer said ahead of Sunday night's Hopman Cup drubbing of Britain's Cameron Norrie.

"All the fitness stuff I wanted to do, got done. All the tennis sessions I wanted to do, got done. I actually did a bit more than I was planning to.

"I think I can be very happy there. I've worked hard. I don't talk about it, but I work extremely hard.

"This time, we really went to the edge of what's possible for me.

"Nowadays with my age, I have to be careful not to push it every single day or too many days in a row, or whatever it may be. "But when I worked, I worked extremely hard just on length of practice, intensity of practice, on length of rally and all these things. So I will be ready to play tough rallies, tough matches this year."

Roger Federer lost only two games against Cameron Norrie.
Roger Federer lost only two games against Cameron Norrie.

Federer, astounded even his peers with a blistering 21-match winning streak to start the 2018 season - a feat he draws strength from as he bids to bury frustrations from the second half of the season.

"I think it was actually the most wins in a row ever to start the season for me, so the season was fantastic," he said.

"Yeah, I couldn't carry it through.

"There were several reasons but, at the end, I have to judge the whole season and it was a great season."

Federer suffered a hand ­injury during the grasscourt season, which ended with a surprise loss from two sets to love up against Kevin Anderson. And his US Open quest was terminated in hot, heavy conditions by John Millman.

Federer, who cruised past Norrie 6-1 6-1 in his Hopman Cup opener and will face American Frances Tiafoe on Tuesday night before lining up against Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, is optimistic of venturing to the Australian Open in a rich vein of form.

News Corp Australia


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