The Australian Open pre tournament press conferences took place today and as usual Roger's is an interesting read. You can read the full transcript here but I'll run through a few things in this post and what I make of them.
I'll start by saying Roger sounds very relaxed and quietly confident about his chances at the Australian Open. All the talk is about Djokovic winning his 3rd title in a row and Murray having a chance to win back to back Grand Slams so I think he likes it like that.
It allows him to just go about his business without the favourite tag or constantly being in the media spotlight. It can also give him some added motivation if he feels like he shouldn't be overlooked just because Djokovic & Murray had a good end to 2012.
Roger says he's feeling relaxed and refreshed
It's been very relaxing, the last few one and a half months. Not many appearances, no press almost. Just focusing on getting ready mentally and physically really.
Now I feel fine. I arrived really early, two, three days earlier than in the past, which has been quite nice. I feel like I have an extra two, three days of a cushion, which is honestly good to have before a slam sometimes.
Sounds good to me, a long break was exactly what Roger needed after looking completely physically and mentally drained during the indoor season.
I feel like the practice will have helped him not only regain some of the confidence he lost post US Open but will also have given him plenty of opportunity to tune up his game in areas he felt were lacking. I have a feeling he's going to serve pretty will in Melbourne.
Federer on his potential 3rd round encounter with Tomic
He's a good player. We know how talented he is, what he can do. It's obviously tricky playing him in Australia. He usually plays his best over here. Even the pressure you might think it's a problem. That's what people usually say. But I always say it's best to be playing at home. You have confidence that you believe you can upset top guys. I'm sure he believes in that, as well.
He's also got his work cut out, you know, in the first few rounds. He will be making a mistake about thinking about me in the third round because he also has to get there.
Haha I love it, he will be making a mistake thinking about me in the third round because he also has to get there. Owned.
Everyone is already talking about the Fed vs. Tomic match, but both guys have to get there first and that takes 2 best of 5 matches, where an awful lot can happen. If Tomic is already talking up playing Roger in the third round that's pretty dumb.
Tomic has just won Sydney so he will be confident but some of his comments are a little over the top I think and he risks becoming more of a talker than a doer but time will tell.
Federer doesn't think his lack of pre tournament matches will effect him
I purposely didn't play a lead up tournament that I'd be fresh for the beginning, hopefully going deep into the tournament. That's the goal obviously.
I think it's nice sometimes doing it slightly different than every year the same thing. Otherwise it feels like a déjà vu and that's not always a good thing.
I agree with Roger here, it's not like he was forced into not playing any lead up tournaments, he took the conscious decision not to which makes all the difference.
In tennis sometimes a player needs matches, and sometimes they need practice. Roger's 2012 season was fully packed with competitive play meaning he had no time for hitting the practice courts. His break has given him plenty time to work on his game in the areas he wanted to.
It's very difficult to try out new tactics during tournament play because the priority is always winning.
Overall I think Roger is pretty bullish about his chances in Australia. Like I've said he's not the favourite but if JesusFed makes an appearance then there's no reason he can't take the title. The draw isn't a cake walk by any means for him but Roger will take it one match at a time and then the rest takes care of itself.
Fed will be in action Tuesday against Paire, personally I'd like a night match so I don't have to wake up at stupid o'clock but I think the schedule will be released Monday. Until then. Allez les Suisse!