Aus­tralia suc­cess has Fed­erer think­ing ahead to Wim­ble­don.

Swiss re­turns to top 10 in rank­ings and fan­cies his chances at year’s third ma­jor

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Roger Fed­erer was as sur­prised to win his 18th grand slam ti­tle at the Aus­tralian Open as when he clinched his first at Wim­ble­don in 2003.

Now the Swiss is tar­get­ing the All Eng­land Club for ma­jor tri­umph No 19 af­ter he ousted old ri­val Rafael Nadal in five thrilling sets in Mel­bourne.

Fed­erer beat Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to win his fifth Aus­tralian Open ti­tle and com­plete an in­cred­i­ble come­back fol­low­ing six months out with in­jury.

Vic­tory also means Fed­erer climbs to 10th in the world rank­ings af­ter he started the tour­na­ment 17th and with faint hopes of mak­ing the quar­ter-fi­nals. “This came as a huge, huge sur­prise. I guess maybe like 2003 Wim­ble­don, it’s to­tally dif­fer­ent, but it was a big, big sur­prise,” Fed­erer said.

“I thought I could prob­a­bly be dan­ger­ous for a top guy, maybe beat one, and then that would prob­a­bly be it, just be­cause the body would start ach­ing – which it did – or my level would drop, which it didn’t.”

Even for Fed­erer, the French Open is likely to prove out of reach given he has never en­joyed play­ing on clay and the sur­face will be par­tic­u­larly bru­tal on his body.

Nadal, the nine-time cham­pion at Roland Gar­ros, world No 1 Andy Mur­ray, reign­ing cham­pion No­vak Djokovic and 2015 win­ner Stan Wawrinka will all sit higher in the peck­ing or­der.

It means the 35-year-old Fed­erer’s best chance of seal­ing his next ma­jor suc­cess is on the grass of Cen­tre Court this sum­mer. “Wim­ble­don over Roland Gar­ros, yes,” Fed­erer said.

“On the grass I’ve got a lot of tour­na­ments there, I play Stuttgart and Halle. So I guess Wim­ble­don, I know I have a bet­ter shot there.

“But at the French Open, if you’re not in the draw you can’t win it so I hope to be in the draw this year, not like last year.

“The US Open ac­tu­ally I also think I have a good chance to do well there, but let’s en­joy this one first.”

Fed­erer will first take some time off to re­cover phys­i­cally from his drain­ing run at Mel­bourne

Roger Fed­erer On his thoughts be­fore the Aus­tralian Open start

Park, be­fore con­tin­u­ing the hard-court sea­son in Dubai, In­dian Wells and Mi­ami.

The knee in­jury that prompted last year’s sab­bat­i­cal ap­pears not to have resur­faced, but Fed­erer did have to put up with pain in his thigh and groin against Wawrinka and Nadal.

“I feel okay, I am very tired right now,” Fed­erer said.

“My legs hurt like mad and my back’s stiff now too be­cause I didn’t take any treat­ment, plus I was danc­ing.

“I’m still on a high, I’m go­ing to crash even­tu­ally but that’s okay and like I said in a week’s time I think the pain in my legs will go away, which is go­ing to be nice.”

This was Fed­erer’s first ma­jor ti­tle since his sec­ond set of twins, Leo and Lenny, were born and the vet­eran said he en­joyed some time with his fam­ily af­ter re­turn­ing from a long night of par­ty­ing.

“As I walked in, they woke up. It was a bit of a weird mo­ment but still so great be­cause they were all in such a good mood as they woke up and I came in walk­ing in with the tro­phy,” Fed­erer said. “We started the party late, or su­per early in the morn­ing and we made it home by sun­rise, which was good.

“It was nice to see the sun rise over Mel­bourne, get into the room, so it was a long night but a lot of fun.

“Ev­ery­one was in such a good mood. It was a special day, a special cou­ple of weeks and fin­ished off in a great way, by be­ing silly and hav­ing a lot of fun.”

I thought I could prob­a­bly be dan­ger­ous for a top guy, maybe beat one, and then that would prob­a­bly be it

Saeed Khan / AFP

The Aus­tralian Open was Roger Fed­erer’s 18th grand slam crown, his first ma­jor ti­tle since Wim­ble­don in 2012.

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