Roger Federer arrived in Brisbane, singles & doubles draw, new racket and other news you need to know

Swiss champion Roger Federer touched down in Brisbane early on Saturday morning and immediately faced the press.

“I feel very energised to be here even though it’s seven in the morning,” quipped the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

Top of the agenda was the recent announcement made by Federer that he will be joining forces with fellow former No.1 Stefan Edberg who will join his coaching team that also includes Severin Luthi.

“Severin, who has been part of my team for the last seven years, will do most of the weeks and Stefan has agreed to work with us for at least 10 weeks starting at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

“There was only a few I thought of … he was a childhood hero of mine,” said Federer when asked why he chose to bring Edberg into his team.

“I’m sure he can bring a new angle to my game, which is good.”

Federer will make his Brisbane debut this week where he will be hoping to start his 17th season on Tour with his 78th career title.

“I was able to do more than I thought which is very encouraging,” he said.

“I didn’t play any exhibitions which allowed me to train extremely hard and for a longer period of time.

“It’s the first time in a year that I could practice three, four weeks in a row without any setbacks which has been the problem the last one and a half years.

“Every time I had training in the past I had setbacks, little aches and pains, especially in the back from time to time… which cost me confidence.

“These last few months have been important for me, feeling that movement is not an issue any more and I can go full out especially mentally more than anything,” said Federer who is shooting for his fifth Australian Open title later this month.

“It’s pretty simple here and in Melbourne, you want to do very well and get into the groove again.”

Early success for the Swiss ace will be high on his agenda following a difficult 2013 season that yielded just one title, in Halle.

“It was a more difficult and challenging year for me … hopefully I can have a better season.

“Deep down I’m still doing it because I love the game … I’m very fortunate.”

“Tennis is very important but it’s not everything,” added Federer whose wife Mirka will give birth to their third child in 2014.

So with an expanding family, is retirement on the cards?

“If retirement was the case I wouldn’t tell you anyway,” smiled Federer.

Roger on the new frame

“Yeah, I'm going to play in Australia with a similar model as in my first attempt. Actually, I wanted to take the test right after the U.S. Open again. But then I had so much to do with myself and my game, that I let it stay. Now I had more time to still make further small changes and to file with my outfitter company Wilson on the details,” said the Maestro.

“I feel it was the right time”

The Roger added ”It is a fact that the sport of tennis is constantly developing and the racket technology with him. Nevertheless, one must always think twice if you change something on his racquet. Because the club is extremely important. But now I have the feeling that the right time for a change there is. I've played through two and a half weeks with the new model and am confident. The racket suits me very well in the hand. But the truth is on the court. We will see in the tournaments in Australia as it affects.”

Federer's singles draw

Federer' projected Brisbane path to the final: Bye, Nieminen/Duckworth, Benneteau/Tursunov, Anderson/Chardy, Nishikori/Dimitrov

Federer and Mahut teams up for doubles

Tecau and Rojer have 25 doubles titles between them and were looking to get matches under their belt in Brisbane, but Federer and Mahut are now a looming threat with doubles credentials such as an Olympic gold for Federer in Beijing and a French Open final for Mahut in 2013.

If Federer and Mahut manage to upset the top seeds, they set up a possible spectators’ dream encounter with Jeremy Chardy and Grigor Dimitrov - the 2013 singles finalist often hailed “baby Federer” for his uncanny resemblance to the Swiss king.

Date: 28th December 2013, Source: Brisbane International


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