Two decades of Federer, and still going strong

The amazing Roger Federer will embark on his 21st professional season when he leads Switzerland in the mixed teams Hopman Cup starting in Perth on Saturday.

The 36-year-old Swiss is coming off an extraordinary year where he took his majors tally to 19, with a fifth Australian Open title and a record eighth Wimbledon.

Federer finished the year at number two in the world behind Spanish rival Rafael Nadal, having started at 16, after a season-leading seven titles, including three Masters at Indian Wells, Miami and Shanghai.

It was a sensational season by any standards, but especially as Federer has been playing professional tennis since 1998 — a year when Bill Clinton was president of the United States, and James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ won 11 Oscars.

Federer will again partner Belinda Bencic at the Hopman Cup, his only event before launching his Australian Open title defence on January 15.

“It’s totally different this time around,” said Federer, whose appearance at the previous edition of the Hopman Cup followed a rare six-month absence as he recovered from injury”.

“I had a great off-season. I mean, I did have a good off-season too last year but I just wasn’t sure what to expect”.

“Now expectations are higher but at the same time I try to remind myself, ‘Just don’t think it’s normal and realistic to aim for the same things I did this year in 2017’.

“I’ve got to try and keep it cool, try my best and see what happens — but the preparation’s been good so far.”

(Agencies)

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