THEY say Roger Federer’s career has already reached its apex but today, it took him to The Pinnacles.
The tennis legend headed to the popular tourist spot (just under 200km north of Perth) for a spot of sight-seeing after landing in Perth for the Hopman Cup.
The 20-time major winner got some pre-tournament practice on the dunes with some local children and even passed his congratulations onto a newlywed couple who had chosen the right time and place to tie the knot.
Likening The Pinnacles to the moon, Federer spoke about his love of travelling, in particular road trips and how he had grown to love Western Australia.
“I’ve been to some deserts, but this feels very different because of the stones, it’s so ancient, so old, so this is definitely a unique destination for me,” he said.
Having won the last two Australian Open titles after starting his season in Perth, the Swiss maestro declared his body was in great shape after a strong pre-season program and said he was keen to return to the round-robin tournament.
Of particular note is Switzerland’s marquee match-up with the USA, which will see arguably the sport’s two greatest players in Federer and Serena Williams face off for the first time in the mixed doubles.
Federer admitted he was excited to face Williams and he anticipated it would be a special match.
“She’s a great, great player, the greatest ever, and it’s nice she’s taking part in the Hopman Cup again,” he said.
“I think for both of us we’ll play it down a little bit, say it’s not that big of a deal for us, it’s just another tennis match.
“But it really isn’t, because it’s probably going to happen once and never again and that’s why I hope we’re both going to be injury free when that day comes around and we’re just going to try our very best, try to win and enjoy ourselves as well, because it’s going to be short and sweet.”
Looking ahead to the Australian Open, Federer said he expected the likes of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and rising star Alexander Zverev to be the favourites, although he anticipated the sport’s next generation could prove a handful.
“There are those guys who can have breakthrough performances, like (Stefanos) Tsitsipas and Denis Shapavalov. If you’re talking about who is going to win, probably one of the top 10 guys and of course you add Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic and maybe Dominic Thiem and Kevin Anderson,” he said.
“The next generation are definitely pushing through. Is it the time when they’re going to win a slam? That would be nice, but I hope I’m in the mix too and won’t allow that to happen.”
Federer and Belinda Bencic will kick off Switzerland’s defence of the Hopman Cup on Sunday evening.