Cape Town - Roger Federer says he is just as
concerned about his early opponents at next week's Australian Open as he
is about the big guns he could face later on.
The Swiss great will become the older major winner in tennis history
if he manages to clinch a third successive Australian Open crown this
month - but right now he isn't looking past Thursday night's draw and
the early challenges that could be awaiting him.
Federer's concerns aren't that surprising when you consider the
caliber of some of the unseeded players set to do battle in Melbourne
next week, including Andy Murray, Nick Kyrgios, Stan Wawrinka, Tomas
Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
"If you play Stan first round or Nick first round or Tsonga first
round that changes things a little bit instead of playing a qualifier.
From that standpoint we're eager to find out the draw," he said.
"All we look at, regardless of who you are, is the first or maybe the maximum second round.
"After that you don't really mind who's in your section because you have got to beat them all if you want to win here.
"Those dangerous floaters are always the talk of the town, especially
at the beginning. At the same I think it's also important to go (in) confident in the event and know you can beat them all from the get-go."
Asked about his 2019 schedule, Federer revealed that he may spend
more time at home in Switzerland, as the 37-year-old veteran continues
to manage the physical requirements of another year on tour.
"Family for me always comes first," said the father of four.
"For my tennis I have options.
"I know what the pillars are for me throughout the year and what need
to do in terms of fitness, how many tournaments I can play, how much I
want to travel. This can all be adjusted.
"The goal is to be a bit more in Switzerland, especially with the family this year," he added.
"We're just trying to work through the schedule which is why I
haven't made a decision yet on the clay court season, and the beginning
of the grass court season.
"I just want to enjoy myself, have a good time on the road. I don't
think I've ever had more fun than right now to be honest on the tour,
because the kids are travelling with me (and) we have so many friends
that come now at the back end of my career."