Federer focused on himself, not Djokovic in Melbourne


Australian Open hopeful Roger Federer insists he has not tailored his game to combat world number one Novak Djokovic at Melbourne Park.

Defending champion Djokovic is the overwhelming favourite to win a sixth Australian Open crown and 11th grand slam title, when the major gets underway on Monday.

Djokovic has already got his hands on silverware in Doha this year - his sixth successive ATP Tour title - having amassed 11 in 2015, which included the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open.

Despite Djokovic's remarkable form, world number three and 17-time grand slam champion Federer said he has not changed any elements of his game specifically for the Serb star.

"I'm always on the lookout for how to play certain players or certain tournaments or about my own game," the 34-year-old told reporters on Saturday.

"So Novak might be a small piece of the puzzle, but it wasn't the piece. I'm more focused about my own game than any other player.

"Last year I did quite well against Novak. Of course, I've got to keep it up. I always believe there's new things you can learn, but there's always sometimes a way of staying motivated, staying hungry. Someone like Ivan can also help do that.

"But I can do a lot by myself, but I need my support team to push me the last 1 per cent, 5 per cent, 10 per cent, whatever it is, because I'm not in the same mood every single day."

First up for Federer at the Australian Open is Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Federer, who said he has overcome illness which hampered him at the Brisbane International where he lost to Milos Raonic in the final, added: "I don't know my opponent very well. I almost played him at Wimbledon, I remember. So we'll see how that goes.

"I'm more focused on my own game right now. My health is good now, so that's crucial, especially now that I play on Monday.

"I'll get some feedback from Ivan [Ljubicic] and Severin [Luthi], see what they can find out about him. But then I think important is going to be how I'm going to play."