Australian Open: Roger Federer pits arch-rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as title favourites
What's the story?
Roger Federer has played down his chances of winning the Australian Open saying that he is too old to be considered a Grand Slam favourite.
In case you didn't know...
Federer is on the brink of becoming the first male player to win 20 Grand Slam titles and will achieve the record if he wins the Australian Open. Overall, he would also be the fourth player after Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf to win 20 Grand Slams if he clinches the Australian Open.
The heart of the matter
The Swiss tennis player said his rivals Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic should be considered favourites for the Australian Open. The defending champion returned from an injury last year when he won the Grand Slam down under and same is the case for Nadal and Djokovic this year, with both returning after taking a few months off to get back in time for the Australian Open.
However, Federer didn't name his compatriot Stan Wawrinka as a title contender. Incidentally, Wawrinka had won the Australian Open in 2014 but he is also coming back from an injury break.
Nobody was expecting the 36-year-old to win the Australian Open last year as he was making a comeback from injury and his age was against him but he defied the odds to win the title. This year, he is in great form and fit for the grand slam. That's the reason why pundits are considering him the favourite for the title.
The qualifying rounds of the Australian Open are already underway and the main championship is due to start on Monday with Federer playing his first match against the World No.51 Alijaz Bedene on Tuesday.
With Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori out of the Australian Open due to injury and Nadal and Djokovic coming back from injury, the 5-time champion is being rightly considered the favourite for the Grand Slam. However, like a true champion, Federer has remained rooted to the ground and pitched his arch-rivals as the favourite for the title.