I shouldn't be Australian Open favourite at 36 - Federer

From BBC - January 14, 2018

Roger Federer says his age helps take the pressure off as he heads into the Australian Open tipped to win.

The Swiss five-time champion won his first major title for five years with a stunning run in Melbourne last year.

And with rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal on their way back from injury, and Briton Andy Murray absent, Federer remains the man to beat.

"I play down my chances just because I do not think a 36-year-old should be a favourite of a tournament," he said.

"It should not be the case. That's why I see things more relaxed at a later stage of my career," added the world number two, who is looking to win a 20th Grand Slam title.

"I feel like maybe somebody like a Rafa, with the year that he's had, and Novak, with the six titles he's had here, even if it's unknown how he's feeling, they could very well be the favourites too."

Federer will begin his 20th Australian Open campaign on Tuesday against world number 51 Aljaz Bedene, the former Briton who returned to playing under the Slovenian flag on 1 January.

Asked about the seeming glut of injuries at the top of the men's game, with fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka another whose participation was in doubt and Kei Nishikori of Japan absent with a wrist injury, Federer put it down mainly to "coincidence".


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