‘Part time’ Federer claims another crown
AS if chasing a 36-year-old wasn't frustrating enough, Roger Federer's rivals now know they're also being outdone by a part-timer.
The Swiss great added yet another feather to his cap by teaming up with Belinda Bencic to win the Hopman Cup on Saturday - 17 years after first winning the trophy.
Federer had the crowd enthralled during a charming on-court interview after his singles win over German Alexander Zverev. And he showed he's not only still a master of tennis, but of the humblebrag.
The 19-times grand slam winner has a knack for making a modest-sounding comment actually draw attention to something he's proud off, and he was in top form in Perth.
Federer managed to mention he's picked up 95 career titles since last winning the Hopman Cup and at one point declared himself better at the net than his tennis rivals when discussing baseline tactics.
But perhaps the response that will cut his rivals most came when he was asked how his training differed from his early days.
"I've played almost 1500 times so you have to be careful now. So it's nice, I work part time now," he said, the crowd lapping it up.
"I work in the morning, I'm off in the afternoon or I do it the other way around.
"It's good being a dad, good being a husband, good being a tennis player.
"I have the best of all worlds, it's great."
Vintage Federer, and it's part of why we love him so much.
World No.2 Federer says he is primed and ready to return to the scene of last year's fairytale as he aims to defend his Australian Open crown.
Federer was entering the unknown at this time last year after spending the previous six months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
The 36-year-old defied his long stint on the sidelines to win the Australian Open, before adding a record eighth Wimbledon crown later that year. Federer will enter this year's Australian Open as the hot favourite, especially with injury clouds still hovering over his main rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Three-time major winner Andy Murray (hip) and Kei Nishikori (wrist) have already pulled out.
The 19-time grand slam winner won all four of his singles matches at the Hopman Cup.
"It caps off a great week as a team, but personally for me as a singles player, I played great," Federer said after winning the title in Perth.
"Now I just have to pace myself all the way up to the tournament in Melbourne, and I'll be ready.
"I'm just excited going back to Melbourne where I had my fairytale run last year. It was crazy.
"It's great to be the defending champion. I take it the right way. I won't put extra pressure on myself, regardless of who's going to play, or not play.
"For me it's just important to be in a good mindset, well prepared, and ready to go. And I feel like I am ready."