On The Tennis Front

On The Tennis Front

On The Tennis Front: He arrived in Melbourne with a cold and a new coach, but Roger Federer believes he is prepared to contend for the Australian Open title. “The cough’s gone. The cold’s 90% gone. I’m happy,” the tennis great told reporters Saturday. “The last couple days I’ve been able to practice normally. I’m relieved that since Thursday now I’m better.” An ailing Federer lost in the final of his opening 2016 event in Brisbane, where he was defending champion. The 34-year-old was beaten by Milos Raonic — the former charge of his new coach Ivan Ljubicic.

Federer hopes Ljubicic can help him end Novak Djokovic’s dominance, having won three of their eight meetings in 2015 — losing five finals.

“Last year I did quite well against Novak. Of course, I’ve got to keep it up,” he said.

“I always believe there’s new things you can learn, but there’s always sometimes a way of staying motivated, staying hungry. Someone like Ivan can also help do that.

“I can do a lot by myself, but I need my support team to push me the last 1%, 5%, 10%, whatever it is, because I’m not in the same mood every single day.” “The Australian Open is the one where players come in maybe most inspired,” said Federer, who opens his campaign Monday with an evening match against 117th-ranked Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia. World No. 1 Djokovic starts his title defense Monday against South Korea’s 51st-ranked Hyeong Chung, as the Serbian seeks his sixth Australian success and 11th grand slam overall.

On The Tennis Front

 

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