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I’m not 100%: Federer plays down Australian Open title hopes

Just a day after being announced as the favourite to win 2018s first grand slam Australian Open, Swiss maestro Roger Federer has shocked his fans by saying that he is not 100 per cent, while going into the tournament.

According to reports, the 36-year-old tennis ace has said that his aspirations are different to last season, when he contrived a miracle win despite a supposedly horrendous draw.

He said, “This year I hope to win the first few rounds and get rolling hopefully, whereas last year I was just hoping to win. It (2017) was more of a ‘let’s see what happens’ kind of tournament, maybe similar to what Novak Djokovic or Stan Wawrinka or others are going through this year. It’s like, let’s just see what happens. I’m not at 100 per cent, but you never know in a week’s time what’s going to be happening.”

The former world number one also noted that you need to give yourself a chance even if the draw is difficult and also said that the last year’s Australian Open was his the “tournament of the year” for him.

“Yeah, it was the tournament of the year for me, no doubt about it. All the five-setters, as well. Having no expectations was so nice after all these years always having expectations, like now this year again. With age, I feel like I play down my chances just because I don’t think a 36-year-old should be a favourite of a tournament, it should not be the case. That’s why I see things more relaxed, you know, at a later stage of my career,” explained Federer.

The 19-time grand slam winner also hinted that players like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic should be the favourites this year, despite injury worries for both rivals.

He explained, “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.”

“My focus, yeah, needs to be early because I have my own problems to get through my section of the draw, my game. That’s my focus, not the other players really further down the line,” he added.

Federer opens against Slovenian Aljaz Bedene and would face Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the third round.

If Federer wins this year’s tournament, he will be tied for the most Australian titles with Djokovic and Roy Emerson, who both have won six Australian Open titles.

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