• Australian Open

Federer prepares to slow down in 2013

ESPN staff
January 12, 2013
Men's top three ready for Australian Open

Roger Federer has labelled 2013 a "transition year" in his career, revealing he will manage his time to ensure he can peak at the major events.

Federer returned to some of his best form in 2012, winning Wimbledon to head back to the top of the world rankings before being usurped later in the year by Novak Djokovic. He also picked up a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics.

Ahead of the Australian Open, Federer is eyeing his 18th grand slam title but few consider him a favourite, particularly after Friday's draw. The Swiss may have to beat Bernard Tomic, Milos Raonic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Andy Murray just to reach the final.

Federer insists his target is to stay fit, and to ensure he can still remain competitive when it really counts this season. That plan begins with a first-round encounter against Benoit Paire when the Australian Open commences next week.

"I'm hoping for another good year," Federer said. "They're all different in many ways. This last one was very emotional. Getting back to world No. 1 was a major goal of mine last year.

"So this year is maybe more of a transition year for me. Making sure that I practice enough and rest enough to look at the longevity aspect and the tournaments which I enter, to make sure that I am at full force."

Djokovic, meanwhile, warned his rivals that he is 100 per cent fit and ready to defend his title when play gets underway. The world No. 1 begins his campaign against Paul-Henri Mathieu.

"From my personal experience, I like playing here because it's after five or six weeks' break without a tournament, so you have time to recover, regroup and recharge your batteries both mentally and physically," Djokovic said.

"To get ready for the new season with four or five weeks of good practice and you come here fresh, motivated and inspired to play some good tennis. In my case, it has been working well. This is my most successful grand slam."

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