MELBOURNE — Roger Federer declared himself ready on Monday to kick off the new season at next week’s Australian Open despite having played no competitive matches since November.
The 20-times Grand Slam winner was scheduled to warmup for the year’s first major at the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia but withdrew to spend more time with his family.
In contrast, his rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal were part of some closely-fought matches at the team event, which was played in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney.
“I’ve trained long and hard in the off-season and I didn’t have any setbacks, which is crucial,” Federer said at a promotional event in Melbourne.
“Last week I was asking myself ‘am I happy to go to Australia, or I should rather just stay here and stopping pack immediately? Because I can. “I could easily just stay home and I was like, ‘no, no, I’m really happy to go to Melbourne and kick off the season there.’ — Reuters