Roger Federer pledges to battle on

Roger Federer is refusing to panic after his shock Australian Open third-round exit and has defended his busy schedule at the end of last year.

The world No.2 was dumped out in four sets by unseeded Andreas Seppi on Friday, suffering his earliest exit in Melbourne since 2001.

The result brought to mind his second-round defeat to Sergiy Stakhovsky at Wimbledon in 2013, which prompted questions of retirement.

However, the 33-year-old says he will simply rest up before practising ahead of a tournament in Dubai next month.

"This is a feeling I've had for 15 years," Federer told a press conference. "To me I don't read anything into that. It's just not the best feeling to have.

"It's not like I'm playing shocking or I'm feeling shocking. It's like one of those things you look back and maybe, yeah, I didn't feel so good.

"But if you win, you never even question it. If I were you, I wouldn't read very much into that."

Federer's exit comes after a whirlwind end to the previous campaign that saw the 17-time grand slam champion win the Davis Cup with Switzerland before jetting off to play in the inaugural International Premier Tennis League.

Asked if he thought his end-of-season commitments may have been behind his defeat to Seppi, Federer replied: "Not really. I was actually very happy that it was the way it went, because it allowed me to stay within the rhythm and take the break after the Australian Open.

"I was playing very well in practice. I was playing very well in Brisbane. I was playing great in the practice leading into the tournament. So I don't want to say that I peaked too early, but I definitely was hitting the ball very well.

"I still believe I'd still be in the tournament, that I'd still have a chance to go very deep. Like I said at the very beginning of the tournament, I truly believe that.

"But then again, margins are small, and sometimes these things tend to happen. Clearly I'll have a look at it, but I don't think I did anything wrong honestly.

"I wanted to go to India. I wanted to go back to Switzerland for Christmas. I practised as hard as I possibly could. Can't do more than that. Sure, the year ended late, but one week later than normal. At the end of the day, honestly I'm confident that what I did was the right thing."

Date: 24th January 2015, Source: ESPN UK