Cape Argus - - SPORT -

DE­FEND­ING cham­pion Roger Fed­erer said he was “very happy” with his prepa­ra­tion for the Aus­tralian Open yes­ter­day, a day be­fore he be­gins his cam­paign against Uzbek­istan’s De­nis Is­tomin.

“I’m play­ing good ten­nis,” he told re­porters in Mel­bourne. “I’m con­fi­dent that I think it needs a good per­for­mance by my op­po­nent prob­a­bly to beat me. That’s al­ways a good thought. But then again, I think I’m play­ing well.”

The 37-year-old, who has won the last two Aus­tralian Opens and a joint record six over­all, be­gan his sea­son at the Hop­man Cup in Perth, where he didn’t lose a sin­gle set or ser­vice game.

Asked about for­mer No 1 Andy Mur­ray’s an­nounce­ment this week that the tour­na­ment could po­ten­tially be his last be­cause of a painful hip in­jury, Fed­erer said he was “dis­ap­pointed and sad, a lit­tle bit shocked”.

“Of course, it hits us top guys hard be­cause we know Andy very well,” he added.

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