Roger Federer: ‘Novak Djokovic is the Australian Open favorite, he is on a roll’

Roger Federer added Ivan Ljubicic to his coaching staff ahead of the 2016 season, making a debut with Ivan in Brisbane and reaching the final. The Swiss toppled Grigor Dimitrov and Dominic Thiem to set the title clash against Milos Raonic, who beat him 6-4, 6-4 to steal the trophy. Roger didn’t feel at his best physically, hoping to recover in three or four days and stand as the title contender at the Australian Open. Still, the Swiss acknowledged that Novak Djokovic is the top favorite to secure another Melbourne crown, praising the Serb and saying that he was on a roll in those years. In his best season on the Tour, Djokovic claimed 11 ATP titles in 2015, standing above all the rivals and claiming three Majors, six Masters 1000 titles and the ATP Finals.

Roger Federer praised Novak Djokovic ahead of the 2016 Australian Open.

“I definitely didn’t play my best today. When you play against a big server, you have to take care of your games and see what you can do on the return; that wasn’t the case for me today. My serve was inconsistent, and I struggled a lot. My defense game from the baseline didn’t work well either, especially in the pivotal moments. Milos is an aggressive player, and he took advantage of that. His serve is huge, and I didn’t have too many opportunities. I’m not disappointed, and I would have been thrilled if I know I would reach the final five days ago. I still have the cough, and my throat is a bit weird; I have to make sure to overcome that as soon as possible.

Health is my top priority, and I should be fine in three or four days. I felt tired throughout the week, and my backhand wasn’t there. Things were not going on naturally, and I had to push myself and feel a lot of pressure. A result like one from the Doha final is always surprising when you have two top-ranked players on the court, as you rarely see blowouts. Still, Novak has been on a roll for a while now. Doha is usually quite slow, and we can see the results like that if someone dominates from the baseline; we saw that at the World Tour Finals as well. Novak has to be the Australian Open favorite,” Roger Federer said.

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