After completing an impressive 2014 – a season that culminated with him winning the Davis Cup for the first time in his career – Roger Federer will look to start off the new year with some of the leftover momentum from November. He will begin his campaign at the Brisbane International with a second round match-up against John Millman, whom he has never previously encountered on the professional tour.
A finalist at last year’s Brisbane International, Federer looked impressive and comfortable on the surface until he came up against champion Lleyton Hewitt in the final. However, his season only got better as the year progressed, as he reached the final of the Wimbledon Championships and picked up several Masters 1000 titles along the way. Now ranked world No. 2, Federer will likely set his sights on another major championship over the course of the year, but not without some solid performances along the way.
“Overall, it was a great season for me,” admitted Federer. “I was consistent and I was playing positive, attacking tennis, the exact way I want to play. I gave myself quite a few chances at the Slams. I want to go one step further, because being close is not quite good enough.”
However, his short-term ambitions are slightly simpler.
“I would love to win this event,” Federer told reporters Saturday on the banks of the Brisbane River. “I was close last year, after I had had a good week. I always like lifting trophies in a place that I have never been able to. I am unbelievably pumped up for this week. It’s a really good field, with a lot of promising players.”
World No. 153 John Millman, a native of Brisbane, will look to follow up on his 6-3, 6-1 win over Rhyne Williams with the biggest win of his career on Thursday when he faces the 17-time Grand Slam champion. Considering this is their first head-to-head encounter, and that Federer is playing his first match of the season, this is as good a time as any for Millman.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Straight Sets