Roger Federer has been practicing in Melbourne for a couple of days now, skipping the ATP Cup and flying straight from Dubai to Melbourne where he kicks off the 21st Australian Open campaign next week. The six-time Australian Open winner will try to repeat what he did down under in 2017 and 2018 and extend the gap to the closest rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who grabbed all four Majors in 2019.
Rested after the ATP Finals and exhibition matches with Alexander Zverev, Federer is ready to embrace another season on the Tour, ranked 3rd despite the age of 38. Asked about Nick Kyrgios, the Swiss praised the younger Aussie, saying he doesn't have to improve a lot as he already possesses rock-solid forehand, backhand, serve and volley.
Like all the others, Roger thinks the key for Nick's success is in his head and desire, how much effort he wants to put it and what to achieve in the years to come. Federer said Kyrgios can beat everybody when he feels the ball, proving that against the best players in the world and enduring all the setbacks he had with injuries.
Kyrgios gave his best at the ATP Cup, both on and off the court when he was cheering for his teammates, beating Jan-Lennard Struff, Stefanos Tsitsipas (probably the match of the tournament), Cameron Norrie and that epic doubles clash against Great Britain to propel Australia into the semi-final.
There, Nick stood no chance against Roberto Bautista Agut but it was a positive week for him overall, switching focus to Melbourne and the first Major of the season now. "Nick doesn't need to improve a whole lot in his game," said Federer.
"He's got the forehand, the backhand, the serve and volleys and all that stuff. With Nick, we know it's elsewhere; it's his mind. How much can he do and does he want to do? He knows he can beat everybody; he has proven his point and he gets respect for that."