Roger Federer ends memorable 2017 with Hopman Cup victory

By @saihoops on
Roger Federer
Tennis - Wimbledon - London, Britain - July 16, 2017 Switzerland’s Roger Federer poses with the trophy as he celebrates winning the final against Croatia’s Marin Cilic Reuters / Daniel Leal-Olivas

World No. 2 Roger Federer ended his memorable 2017 on Sunday with a straight sets victory over Japan’s Yuichi Sugita in the Hopman Cup in Perth. Federer picked up a singles win for Switzerland at the annual mixed teams event in Western Australia. 

Federer's win gave Switzerland the lead in their Group B tie against Japan before Belinda Bencic sealed the victory for the Swiss with a straight-sets win over Naomi Osaka.

In 2017, Federer shattered records by clinching the Australian Open and the Wimbledon to increase his Grand Slam tally to 19. The Swiss Master also became the oldest player to win an ATP Masters 1000 championship.

Entering 2018, the 36-year-old Federer hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. “I feel much more in a rhythm. Last year, I was like I hope I’m going to be able to hit my first serves, and I hope it’s going to work out as much as it did in the practice. I think all those question marks aren’t really there this time around, which is a nice thing," Federer said after his 6-4, 6-3 win over Sugita, via The Herald Sun.

Roger Federer enters 2018 Australian Open as favourite

With World No. 1 Rafael Nadal (knee), Novak Djokovic (elbow), Andy Murray (hip) and Stan Wawrinka (knee) dealing with various injuries, Federer is the prohibitive favourite to win the 2018 Australian Open and increase his Grand Slam tally to 20.

“I think it was a great start (to the new season). I’m healthy and had a great off season,” the 19-time Grand Slam champion said. “The body’s great, it couldn’t be better, so I couldn’t be happier.”

Despite his age, Federer added he felt like he was still as competitive as ever. “I feel like the game has evolved again and I’ve made some adjustments. I am trying to hit through the backhand more and have a bit more pop on the serve.”

The 2018 Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the new ATP season, gets underway Jan. 15. A year ago, Federer returned from a knee injury to prevail at Melbourne Park when he beat Rafael Nadal in the final. There is still uncertainty over the availability of Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, the other three members of the sport's Big 4.