Tennis fans and pundits may spend hours debating whether Roger Federer will win another grand slam title but the 34-year-old isn’t losing any sleep over it.
Federer arrived in Australia on Saturday ahead of starting his summer Down Under by defending his title at the Brisbane International.
The Swiss master is a 17-time grand slam champion but claimed the last of those crowns at Wimbledon in 2012.
With Serbian Novak Djokovic dominating 2015 with three grand slam titles, many believe Federer’s time to add to his record slam haul may have passed.
But Federer says he’s feeling good heading into 2016 after winning six titles including Brisbane last year and reaching the final of both Wimbledon and the US Open.
He says the wait for an 18th slam title is stretching out, but he’s not overly concerned.
“I’ve come so close, I’ve played very well, but I don’t feel any frustration because of it,” Federer said.
“I’m still happy with how I’m playing. It was Novak’s year, he played so well there’s only so much (you can do) if somebody’s so dominant and he’s got sky-high confidence.
“It’s unfortunate, a pity for me, but at the same time I don’t feel sorry for myself. I’ve won so much throughout my career, I feel like if I keep pushing forward it might happen.
“If not, it’s OK.”
This visit will be Federer’s third to the Brisbane International and he says last year’s tournament had been a key launch pad for the 12 months that followed.
Not only did he win the title but Federer joined rare company by picking up the 1000th match win of his ATP career in the process.
The world No.3 says he, Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal will once again not only have to better each other in 2016 but also fend off the generation next.
He says Brisbane opponents Kei Nishikori, Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic are among those who will be keen to break the big four’s dominance.
“The likes of Nishikori, Raonic and Dimitrov want to move now finally into the top four or five and for us, the top guys, is about hanging on where we are right now,” he said.
“I’ve been playing really well for over one and a half years – ever since I came back from my back problems in 2013 – that’s been very encouraging and now I’m just more confident than I was maybe a year ago as well.”