Federer: A 36-year-old should not be favourite

Roger Federer disagrees with his favourites’ tag for the Australian Open and believes Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are the ones to beat this year.

The 36-year-old believes his age is a factor as he tries to land a 20th Grand Slam title and, as a result, he is taking a more relaxed approach.

“I play down my chances just because I don’t think a 36-year-old should be a favourite of a tournament,” Federer said.

“It should not be the case. That’s why I see things more relaxed at a later stage of my career.

“I feel like maybe somebody like a Rafa, with the year that he’s had, and Novak, with the six titles he’s had here, even if it’s unknown how he’s feeling, they could very well be the favourites too.”

Federer won the Australian Open last year after a lengthy injury lay-off and thinks another recovering player could experience what he did 12 months ago.

“Last year was more of a ‘let’s see what happens’ kind of tournament, maybe similar to what Novak or Stan or others are going through this year,” said Federer.

“I [wasn’t] at 100%, but you never know in a week’s time what’s going to be happening. If you’re in the draw, you give yourself a chance.

“That’s what happened for me last year.”