Roger Federer prepares for the Australian Open.
Roger Federer prepares for the Australian Open.

Djoker dismantling has Federer wary

Roger Federer needs no prompting to reflect on the 2017 Australian Open.

The tournament marked his first major success in five years, crowned with successive five-set triumphs over Stan Wawrinka and nemesis Rafael Nadal.

Federer's stunning renaissance aside, the '17 edition was also significant for second seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic's surprise second-round loss to Denis Istomin.

Federer watched most of Istomin's dismantling of six-time champion Djokovic and, despite a 6-0 head-to-head tally against the Uzbeki, the Swiss is not taking anything for granted.

"I know what Denis did to Novak," Federer said.

"I watched basically the entire game a couple years ago when he beat Novak here.

 

Roger Federer in training ahead of the Australian Open.
Roger Federer in training ahead of the Australian Open.

 

"I've had some tough ones against him in the past. He can play well in fast courts, and that's what it's going to be a little bit here as well.

"Look, I'm playing good tennis. I'm confident that I think it needs a good performance by my opponent probably to beat me.

"That's always a good thought. But then again, I think I'm playing well.

"Depending on how you match up with your opponent, who is going to win the big points, the margins are so slim nowadays that I'm just not thinking too far ahead.

"I don't think I should because I think that would be a mistake. I hope I can put myself in contention as the tournament goes deeper, but we'll see.

Chasing his 100th career title at Melbourne Park, Federer could register a century of Open wins if he proceeds to a seventh title here.

The world No.3 has lost only once before the Melbourne Park semi-finals since 2003, compiling a 94-13 record.

Unbeaten at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Federer has hit all of his preparation targets as he bids for a third consecutive Open crown.

"There's many positives to take away from the Hopman Cup in Perth," he said.

"It was successful, the preparation, also paying off here in Melbourne.

"That was obviously a bit of a surprise because I never expected to win the last couple of Australian Opens.

"This year, again, we'll see what happens, but I'm very happy with the preparation thus far.

"Yeah, super excited that it's just a day away now from my next match. This is going to be exciting.

"So I think the focus really is on those early rounds, especially tomorrow has to be."

 

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