Defending champion Roger Federer said he was “very happy” with his preparation for the Australian Open on Sunday, a day before he begins his campaign against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin.
“I’m playing good tennis,” he told reporters in Melbourne. “I’m confident that I think it needs a good performance by my opponent probably to beat me. That’s always a good thought. But then again, I think I’m playing well.”
The 37-year-old, who has won the last two Australian Opens and a joint-record six overall, began his season at the Hopman Cup in Perth, where he didn’t lose a single set or service game.
Asked about former number one Andy Murray’s announcement this week that the tournament could potentially be his last because of a painful hip injury, Federer said he was “disappointed and sad, a little bit shocked.”
“Of course, it hits us top guys hard because we know Andy very well,” he added.
“We like him. He doesn’t have many enemies, to be quite honest. He’s a good guy, Hall of Famer, legend. He won everything he wanted to win. Anybody would substitute their career with his. He’s a great guy.”
Regarding his own longevity, he said: “I definitely need a little bit of luck,” adding that injuries that may have healed faster when he was younger now took longer to recover from.
“All of a sudden at maybe 30, 35, 40, depending on who you are, what problems you’ve had, you will just feel it for two weeks. You can still play, but now you’re playing with pain. It just takes longer to get rid of.”