Federer already in rhythm
Roger Federer delivered a warning to his competition in 2018, saying he already feels in a good rhythm after a short break from the sport.
The defending Australian Open champion had a standout year in 2017, winning in Melbourne and Wimbledon and with the first Grand Slam of the new year just a few weeks away, he is already getting into form.
I think all those question marks aren't really there this time around, which is a nice thing.Roger Federer
Competing for Switzerland in the Hopman Cup alongside Belinda Bencic, he won his singles match against Yuichi Sugita and then mixed doubles and says that, compared to the start of 2017 when he was coming back after six months away, he feels in much more of a rhythm this time.
The world number two said: "You get to break point or the moment where you have to serve the first time of the year, and it's a normal thing.
"Whereas last year, I was like, 'Ooh, I hope I'm going to be able to hit my first serves, and I hope it's going to work out as much as it did in the practice'.
"I think all those question marks aren't really there this time around, which is a nice thing."
Federer turns 37 in the summer and he says he has made adjustments to his game to cope with a sport that is evolving all the time.
He added: "I'm trying to hit through the backhand a bit more, maybe I've got a bit more pop on the serve and naturally the whole rally changes a bit because you have different options."
The Australian Open starts on 15th January and Federer is 7/4 to win the trophy again.
Last year's beaten finalist Rafael Nadal, who is still hoping to play in Melbourne despite missing the warm-up events, is 9/2 with Andy Murray, who hasn't competed since Wimbledon priced at 1212/1.
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