Federer targets Melbourne return


Roger Federer hopes to recover from the knee problem that brought an early end to his 2016 season in time for him to play at the Australian Open.

Federer has not featured on the ATP Tour since his semi-final defeat to Milos Raonic at Wimbledon in late July, and will not play again this year.

The 17-time grand slam singles champion opted out of the Olympic Games in Rio and the US Open to enable him to fully recover, Federer having been troubled by a back problem earlier in 2016.

And he hopes the first major tournament of 2017 will provide the chance to get back on court, the tournament due to begin on January 16.

"I'm working for the Australian Open," he said at a media conference to launch the Laver Cup on Wednesday. "I'm doing well.

"I never thought I'd have a year like this. I've learned a lot from this year.

"It's painful being here in New York, and it was painful during the Olympics because I love competing. But you can't have it all.

"It was a tough decision to say the least - going out of Rio, the US Open, the [season-ending] World Tour Finals. But in some ways it ended up being a simple decision. Health is my number one thing."