Federer backs himself to win Australian Open
Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer has backed himself to conquer the Australian Open title this year and has declared it will take quite an effort from other players to stop him.sports Updated: Jan 19, 2009 06:26 IST
Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer has backed himself to conquer the Australian Open title this year and has declared it will take quite an effort from other players to stop him.
Federer acknowledges, however, the curiosity of events this year, with Nadal being No 1, Djokovic the reigning champion, Andy Murray the rising star and his own game back where he needs it.
"It's going to take a heck of a performance from one of the players to win this tournament so it's going to be interesting," Federer was quoted as saying in Sun-Herald.
"I have played plenty of matches so that's not an issue - no health problems, feeling fresh and fit and ready to go so things are the way I was hoping them to be."
And what that means for Melbourne Park? Federer was unequivocal: "I expect to win.
"I am confident entering any grand slam really because of the success I have had over the last six years. I don't remember playing a slam, though, where I wasn't confident.
"It's going to take an incredible performance by someone else to win."
Last year Federer was below physical fitness in Melbourne losing in semi-final to eventual champion Novak Djokovic, but he won the last slam of the year in New York when he had finally recovered his fitness and form.
The former world No 1 was in formidable, imperious touch in winning the AAMI Classic Saturday, out-muscling his countryman Stanislas Wawrinka in a clinical straight-sets victory, suggesting as he had hoped, he is winding into his best form at the ideal time.