ATP Tour

Federer arrives Down Under

2013-12-28 16:41
Roger Federer (AFP)

Brisbane - Roger Federer arrived Down Under on Saturday for the Brisbane International with a refreshed outlook for 2014, no injuries and a new coach on his team.

"It's the first time in a year that I could practice three, four weeks in a row without any setbacks ... I was able to do more than I thought which is very encouraging," Federer said of his offseason. "I didn't play any exhibitions which allowed me to train extremely hard and for a longer period of time."

Federer, who will use the Brisbane event as his only warm-up tournament ahead of the Australian Open which begins Jan. 13 in Melbourne, announced on Facebook on Friday that he'd added former No. 1 Stefan Edberg to his coaching team for at least 10 weeks.

Edberg, a four-time Grand Slam champion, including the Australian Open in 1985 and 1987, joins Federer's support team under head coach Severin Luthi.

Federer, the winner of a record 17 Grand Slams, finished 2013 ranked No 6 after struggling with a bad back for much of the season.

"Every time I had training (in the past) I had setbacks, little aches and pains, especially in the back from time to time... which cost me confidence," Federer said. "These last few months have been important for me, feeling that movement is not an issue any more."

The Brisbane tournament is also a WTA event which includes Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova as its top draw cards. Next week, the ATP and WTA will again combine at the Sydney International.

Federer, who has a first-round bye, will face either Australian wild-card entry James Duckworth or Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen in the second round.

Second-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan, No 3 Gilles Simon of France and fourth-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa also received byes into the second round, as did Williams and Victoria Azarenka in the women's draw.

Third-seeded Sharapova will play Caroline Garcia of France in the first round.

At the Hopman Cup, also part of the Australian Open Series, Canada beat Australia with wins in the opening two singles matches.

Milos Raonic beat Bernard Tomic 7-6 (8/6), 6-1 before Eugenie Bouchard defeated Sam Stosur 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Bouchard broke Stosur's serve to go up 5-3 in the deciding set, then took advantage of two forehand errors to clinch the match.

Raonic used his strong serve to wear Tomic down.

"He has the best serve in the world right now," Tomic said. "There wasn't much I could do."

In the other Group A clash Saturday, Poland beat Italy. Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 6-2 in women's singles and Andreas Seppi had to retire from his match with illness while trailing 6-4, 2-2 to Grzegorz Panfil. Seppi could not play the mixed doubles, giving Poland a 3-0 win.

The United States, represented by Sloane Stephens and John Isner, plays its first match on Monday against Spain in Group B. France and Czech Republic are the other Group B teams, with the winners of each group playing in the Jan. 4 final.

The Auckland WTA tournament, which includes Venus Williams, lost another player when Britain's Laura Robson pulled out with a left wrist injury. Russian's Elena Vesnina, who would have been the ASB Classic's fourth seed, withdrew last week.

Tournament director Karl Budge said Robson had told him she is "about 95 percent" fit and is not in danger of missing the Australian Open.

Read more on:    atp tour  |  roger federer  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.