Roger Federer hopes his lengthy break from ATP Tour action will enable him to continue playing at the highest level for another two or three years.
The 17-time major champion last featured at Wimbledon in July, cutting his season short due to a knee injury ahead of the Olympic Games.
Federer, 35, is preparing to make his comeback for Switzerland alongside Belinda Bencic in the Hopman Cup in the new year and says retirement is a long way from his thoughts at this stage.
"Only when I get asked do I think of things like this," Federer said.
"Honestly I don't see it like this, that this could be my last Australian trip, even though it might very well be.
Thanks for the very warm welcome to Western Australia! pic.twitter.com/10uYk74weE-- Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) December 30, 2016
"I'm really positive. I took these six months off so I would be playing for hopefully another two to three years, not just another six months or so. So my mindset is for the long term.
"I'm super happy to be back here in Western Australia. It's been 15 years - maybe too long - but I'm very happy I'm still playing tennis at this age and I still get an opportunity to come back.
"The welcome I received with 6,000 people in the stadium was amazing."