Federer kicks off Open campaign with RLA return
Timing the ball with trademark sweetness, Roger Federer has returned to Rod Laver Arena for a 22nd Australian Open tilt, determined to aid Australia's bushfire relief.
The men's singles grand slam record-holder, 38, is excited about the prospect of a potential seventh Melbourne Park crown.
"I'm super happy to be back in Melbourne," the winner of 20 majors said.
"I wanted to arrive very early. I love being here, of course.
"You wait for that first nice hit on Rod Laver Arena.
"I've been feeling good, practising well, everything is great. I can't wait for it (the Open) to start, and to find out what the draw is like, of course, later in the week."
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Federer first contested the Open in 1999, losing in first-round qualifying to France's Olivier Delaitre.
The silky right-hander rebounded from the setback with title success in 2004, '06-7, 2010, '17-18, reaching at least the semi-final round in 14 of his past 16 attempts.
Federer fell in the fourth round last year to Stefanos Tsitsipas, lamenting failure to convert not one of 12 break points.
Federer will headline Wednesday's Rally for Relief session in Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday night.
The Swiss has long held a tremendous affection for Australia, not least because of coaching connections with Peter Carter and Tony Roche.
"I know it's been tough times, as well, for this country," he said.
"It's good to know we can do something about it.
"I'm excited to be part of Rally for Relief on Wednesday.
"Every ace we hit is gonna be good for the people."
Federer and fellow former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova practised at Melbourne Park, where they were joined by Milos Raonic, Elina Svitolina, Gael Monfils and Johanna Konta.
Australian Open qualifying starts from 10am on Tuesday.
Entry is free at Melbourne Park during qualifying.