Roger Federer back in Brisbane

He may be carrying a relaxed demeanour but don’t be fooled - Roger Federer means business.

The Swiss Maestro touched down in Australia on Saturday and was at his casual best when fronting the media on the banks of the Brisbane River.

However, when asked the clichéd question about overcoming potential off-season rust at the beginning of a new year, Federer made his intentions clear for the season-opening tournament.

“I’m never a player that feels I need time to get going,” he said.

“I don’t see this as a preparation necessarily, I’m playing here to win.”

“The 2014 tournament really kicked off a great season for me, I’ve practised well and I’m eager and healthy and to be back here in Brisbane and Queensland is great.”

His performance in his Brisbane International debut last year is evidence the 17-time Grand Slam champion is a man of his word.

The 33-year-old didn’t drop a set en route to the final, progressing past Jarkko Nieminen, Marinko Matosevic and Jeremy Chardy with minimal fuss.

However, he was upset by Lleyton Hewitt in the final, with the Aussie turning back the clock in a three-set win.

Although disappointed with the loss, there was a sense of respect to go down to someone of the same vintage.

“I was close and was the big favourite going into the final. I just lost rhythm at the very end of the tournament,” Federer said.

“I’d love to win but I was happy for Lleyton last year and I think that overweighed my disappointment to some extent.”

With wife Mirka and both sets of twins in tow, Federer has put doubles on the backburner in Brisbane to ensure he has enough time to fulfill his obligations off the court.

He even had time to make a passing quip about his younger days on tour.

“I’d like to get out and about, just not to hotels and clubs. I’ve done that enough as a junior and now I see it a bit differently, actually want to get a feel for the place.”

“Maybe I can go a bit further away outside the city itself.”

A busy year saw Federer net the most wins of any player on the ATP Tour - and a winning percentage of 86 - coupled with the unbridled joy of guiding Switzerland to Davis Cup success for the first time in their history.

“For me the season didn’t really stop; exhibitions matches in India later in the year,” he said.

“I’ve been keeping quite busy, didn’t have a big break after Davis Cup, but I’m eager to get going again.”

Federer has an opening round bye and is set to meet Australian wildcard John Millman or a qualifier in the second round.

Date: 3rd January 2015, Source: Brisbane


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