1) Federer has won the past two Australian Opens.
It’s hard to argue against hardware. In 2017, Roger Federer arrived at the year’s first major fresh off an injury, seeded 17th, which was foreign territory for the Swiss. But Federer managed to find some of his best form to claim his first Grand Slam title in more than four-and-a-half years.
Then last year, Federer did not lose a set en route to the final, where he battled through a stern five-set test from Marin Cilic to claim his record 20th major trophy. So the No. 3 seed will take plenty of confidence into the season’s first Slam.
“I’m not sure how much I really felt like I could defend it,” Federer said the day after his 2018 victory. “Maybe next year when I do come back I might actually believe I can win it.”
‘Next year’ is now here for Federer, and he is one of the leading favourites to capture glory… again.
2) Consistency has been key for the Swiss in Melbourne.
It isn’t that Federer has been inconsistent at the other majors, but the Swiss has seemingly always started his season locked in, advancing to at least the semi-finals in 13 of his past 14 visits to the Australian Open.
Overall, people point to Federer’s eight Wimbledon titles in praising his efforts at the grass-court major. Federer has tallied a 95-12 record (88.8 winning percentage) at SW19 in his career. But the 37-year-old has been almost equally as good at Melbourne Park, earning a 94-13 record (87.9 winning percentage) at the year’s first Slam.
Given that Federer has been so consistent in navigating his way deep into the second week in Melbourne, expect the 99-time tour-level titlist to be in with a chance as the field narrows.
3) He holds serve.
It may sound simple, but Federer has long been one of the best servers on the ATP Tour. Over the past 10 seasons, the Swiss has finished inside the Top 6 in service games won every year except for 2016, when he did not qualify for the category since he missed time due to injury. And according to Infosys ATP Scores & Stats, Federer ranks sixth in the Open Era in service games won at 88.7 per cent. Last year, Federer was broken just six times across 22 sets in Melbourne.
Why does that matter? Everyone has bad days once in a while, even the best players on the ATP Tour. But if it happens to Federer in the upcoming fortnight, his service prowess will help him battle deep into sets, giving him a chance to sneak through tough situations. It doesn’t hurt that Federer holds a 31-10 record in tie-breaks at the Australian Open, either.
Federer: ‘He Didn’t Want Me To Be A Wasted Talent’
Federer at the Australian Open