The last time we saw Roger Federer on a tennis court (competitively) he was dumped out of the ATP World Tour Finals by Stefanos Tsitsipas in mid-November.
The last time we saw Roger Federer in Melbourne he was dumped out by an emerging Stefanos Tsitsipas in a flawless and fearless display under the Melbourne sun.
Roger hasn’t played a warm-up for the first time since 2013 as he approaches the first major of the year but has said he has had a good preseason with no setbacks.
With no warm-up event and recent results declining I cannot see Roger winning in Melbourne. It would have to take something incredibly special and/or the rest of the field to capitulate quite early.
Roger himself has said in Melbourne it was a possibility for him to stay home:
“Last week I was asking myself, am I happy to go to Australia? Or should I just stay here and stop packing immediately? Because I can.
I could easily just stay home and I was like, ‘no, no, I’m really happy to go to Melbourne and kick off the season there”.
My skeptisism comes from results after Wimbledon last year. I do think were at that point now where there are better players emerging at certain moments in tournaments and matches.
Tsitsipas & Thiem in London, Zverev in Shanghai, Dimitrov in New York and Rublev in Cincinnati there was a big struggle from the former number one.
I don’t think he has helped his chances one bit of winning in Melbourne, not playing a warm-up is a surprise especially after seeing what Nadal and especially Novak have done this season.
Out of the three he is obviously the oldest and I do feel in performances he has slowed down a bit more now, maybe that’s why he didn’t opt for a pre-Australian Open warm-up as he knows he is in more of a decline now?