Ageless Federer sounds confident warning on eve of Open defence

Lynette Rowe
January 14, 2019

That Andy Murray is the first of the long-time leading four in men's tennis to signal the end of his career is something Nadal has to keep in perspective.

The Briton even suggested the upcoming Australian Open could be his final tournament, although he hopes to bow out at his home grand slam - Wimbledon.

Murray countered Federer's unreal natural ability, Nadal's muscularity and Djokovic's elastic durability with his own strength and persistence - he pounded down everything thrown at him relentlessly, making up for what he lacked as a player with what he had as a person-an ability to conquer his shortcomings. "I'm confident that I think it needs a good performance by my opponent probably to beat me", said the Swiss master, who warmed for Melbourne with victory in Perth's Hopman Cup. "I tried pretty much everything that I could to get it right - that hasn't worked".

"I'm playing good tennis".

And the doctor who conducted the surgery concedes that playing up until the tournament at Sw19 will be hugely challenging for the three-time grand slam champion.

"Of course, it hits us top guys hard because we know Andy very well".

Murray's support for women and the women's game was also appreciated by British No 1 Konta, who said: "There have been so many examples of when he has stood up for us - not just for women's tennis but women in general. That won't happen now".

The Australian Open gets under way at Melbourne Park on Monday with a host of intriguing match-ups. "Obviously I've been talking to her a lot even a year ago".

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"I feel good. If I am not feeling good, I will not be here", he said.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will be walking in as the favorite for the title and is expected to meet Roger Federer, the defending Champion.

"That's something that ATP is definitely, us as players, part of the council, are trying to change". That's sports sometimes. You can't help when your body says it's enough.

Second seed Angelique Kerber, the 2016 champion, has an opening match against Slovakia's Polona Hercog, while Petra Kvitova, fresh from winning the Sydney International on Saturday, plays Magdalena Rybarikova. "Sometimes life is more important, although it seems hard at that time". "I'm looking forward actually to start it".

"I'm still feel a little behind but that will come with more matches - hopefully more in the main draw". "I know in the locker room whenever we hear him kinda stick up for us, we're like, 'Yeah, go Andy!" Anyways, I just want you to know, and I'm sure you already do, everyone wants you to keep fighting and to keep being you. "Obviously it was something that I really wanted, a big dream of mine to win a grand slam, and it was an fantastic feeling and an incredible two weeks".

Murray has never previously dropped a set against gritty Spaniard Bautista Agut but admitted he is in such bad shape physically that he expects to lose.

"I am happy with the motivation to do something new". It's going to be uncomfortable. 'If it is my last match, I want to try and enjoy it - enjoy the whole experience, which is maybe something during my career that I've not done.

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