No extra Australian Open pressure for Federer

Roger Federer will not put any extra pressure on himself at the Australian Open despite fitness concerns surrounding the rest of the 'big four'.

Former world number one Andy Murray has already withdrawn from the first grand slam of the year because of a hip injury.

Novak Djokovic, who like Murray has not played since Wimbledon, withdrew from the Qatar Open with an elbow issue and his presence in Melbourne is very much in jeopardy.

World number one Rafael Nadal will head to the Australian Open without having played a warm-up event, leaving Federer as the heavy favourite to defend his title.

Federer, along with Belinda Bencic, helped Switzerland to Hopman Cup glory for the first time since 2001.

And he said of his win in Perth: "A lot of positivity, happiness, caps off a great week. Personally for me as a singles player I played great, had a good week, played well, uninjured through the tournament, now I just have to pace myself all the way up to the tournament in Melbourne.

"I'll be ready. We'll see how much I practice, how much I really need [to do], I'm just really excited about going back to Melbourne where I had my fairytale run last year. It was crazy, and I am so happy to be back.

"[Being favourite] is normal, but it's a long way, it's great to be defending champion, I take it the right way this year.

"I won't put extra pressure on myself regardless of who's going to play or not play, regardless of what the draw is, I think for me it is important to be in good mindset, well prepared and just ready to go and I feel I am ready, so I have another week to get in perfect shape."

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