Roger Federer has claimed that the 2017 Australian summer is going to be an "epic" one because of the various storylines around the major players as they start yet another season. Federer also praised Briton Andy Murray for claiming the top spot in the rankings from Serbian Novak Djokovic.
17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer has been out of action since his five-set defeat to Milos Raonic at Wimbledon where he suffered a knee injury. But he isn't the only star player who is returning from injury for the Australian Open that starts in January. Rafael Nadal, too, will make his return after the Spaniard cut his comeback at the end of 2016 short so that he could recover full fitness ahead of the 2017 season.
However, returns are not the only stories in town as the Australian Open will be the first Grand Slam since 2004 that will see the top seed being someone apart from Federer, Nadal or Novak Djokovic. Andy Murray's eventual rise to the top spot in the rankings is a great story according to the Swiss.
“And I think it actually creates a great story for next year. Andy’s a great story. Novak’s a great story. Rafa, obviously, is always going to be a good story. Me coming back is hopefully going to be a nice story to follow, too,” Federer told the New York Times in an interview.
I think the beginning of the year, especially the Australian summer, is going to be epic
The 35-year-old Swiss said that he was surprised to see Novak Djokovic lose his No.1 ranking at the end of 2016, considering the start that the Serb had to the year. Djokovic started the 2016 season just as he had ended the previous year by winning two Grand Slams en route to completing a career Grand Slam with a win at Paris.
However, after the heights of Paris, the Serb failed to win the remaining two and put up average displays at the Rio Games and the ATP Tour finals. But Federer does not agree with the idea that Djokovic had a bad ending to the season and said that it took an "extraordinary effort" from Murray to knock Djokovic off the pedestal.
“I was very surprised just because when a guy starts a season the way Novak does, achieves his dream by winning the French and his fourth Slam in a row, of
Novak, let’s be honest, actually didn’t play too bad in the second half. He won Toronto. He played finals in many other tournaments: U.S. Open, the World Tour Finals. You would think that that’s going to be enough, but what it required was something extraordinary, and Murray was able to deliver that, and that’s where I take my hat off.
“Maybe it’s only human and understandable that Novak had a
Although Federer has won everything that there is to win the sport, he is still hungry as ever. While he enjoyed his mini-retirement, the Swiss cannot want to get back on the court and said that his family couldn't either.
“I think that was really exciting and good for us to have that time [injury layoff]. And it felt good, you know? It did feel good, but it can totally wait. No problem for me. It can totally wait,” Federer said.
“The kids were asking, ‘When are we leaving again?’. Because they were happy to get back on the road. It was like, when are we going the next time to Australia or the next time to New York? And I’ve been saying, ‘Not for a while.’”