Federer: 'I Feel Like I'm Ready To Go'

World No. 3 Roger Federer believes the finish he had at the end of the 2011 season gives him an advantage at the first Grand Slam event of the year, the Australian Open. Speaking at a pre-tournament press conference on Saturday, the four-time Melbourne champion said, "I think it's only helpful that I finished so strong. I've had so many great finishes to the year. I remember every time it has helped me to have a good mindset on vacation, during the buildup, then at the beginning of the year. [I've often taken] this momentum into the following year.

"I hope it's going to be the same again. For this, I need the Australian Open to start well for me, win the first few rounds, get hopefully on a roll, see how far I can go."

The Swiss capped off last year by winning three straight titles, including a record-breaking sixth Barclays ATP World Tour Finals trophy. He started 2012 in great form at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, but was forced to withdraw with a back injury prior to his semi-final clash with eventual Doha champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Having recuperated for nearly a week, Federer is ready to begin his quest for a 17th major title. "I feel my game is really right where it needs to be, even though now the last few days have been pretty much of a waiting game, seeing how it goes," said Federer.

"I still feel that I was able to hit the ball enough. The day after I arrived, I went out for 20 minutes at least. I don't feel like I'm coming from way back. I feel like I'm ready to go. If matches were to start tomorrow, no problem. Even today would have been fine."

Federer did not win a major title in 2011, ending a streak of eight seasons with at least one piece of Grand Slam hardware. Though defending champion Novak Djokovic is the player to beat at Melbourne Park, Federer highlighted the level of depth in this year's field. "I still feel like the top four guys are going to play well again," Federer said. "The question is just whom.

"I think we have a good year in store because also right behind us we have very good players at the moment who can really break through. Some of them really showed again how good they were at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

"I think all the other guys in the top are going to play a good year. I think it's an interesting year ahead of us. I don't quite know what's going to happen yet. I feel good about my own chances. But then again, that doesn't mean much because the others are really playing well at the moment."

Date: 14.01.2012, Source: ATP


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