SYDNEY — Revitalised after a fortnight’s family holiday in the Maldives, Roger Federer has arrived in Australia ready to embark on his milestone 20th year on the professional tennis tour.
The Swiss superstar touched down in Perth just after midnight on Thursday morning ahead of the Hopman Cup starting on Saturday.
It was at the mixed teams’ event last year that Federer launched one of the most incredible seasons of his unparalleled career.
The 36-year-old father of four knows he faces tennis’s version of mission impossible to repeat his magical 2017 campaign, when he won the Australian Open in his first official tournament back after six months out rehabilitating his surgically repaired knee.
He also landed an unprecedented eighth Wimbledon men’s singles crown – without dropping a set for the first time – to take his record Grand Slam tally to 19.
All up, Federer won a tour-topping seven titles, lost just five matches and finished as the oldest year-ending world No. 2 in history.
He says if 2018 is half as successful, he’ll be happy.
Federer will again partner Belinda Bencic at the Hopman Cup, his only event before launching his Melbourne Park title defence on January 15.
As well as chasing a 20th career Major at a time most other players are tuning into the slams in slippers with a cup of tea, Federer will continue hunting records almost every time he steps on court.
World sport’s highest all-team earner with $144.75 million in prize money already banked, Federer will be contesting his 19th consecutive Australian Open, one shy of Lleyton Hewitt‘s record of 20 straight.
The five-time champion has made the semifinals on 13 of his past 14 visits and will be chasing victory No. 88 in Melbourne in three weeks’ time.
Federer will open season 2018 with a mind-boggling 1132 career wins, compared to 250 defeats, and looking to add to his 95 worldwide trophies, second only to Jimmy Connors’ open-era benchmark of 109.