Federer says busy start will be a physical test

Doha: Roger Federer is hoping his ageing body will be able to stand up to a hectic start to 2012, the former world number one said on Monday.

The 30-year-old Swiss begins the countdown to the first grand slam of the year at the Australian Open later this month by defending his Qatar Open championship this week.

"I do hope I can defend my title here and then go to Australia and make a move there," Federer told reporters in Doha.

"I`ve also got a lot coming up in February as well.”

"It`s going to be an interesting two months for me because I`ll be playing a lot of tennis. I hope I can hold up well physically."

Federer wants to find some good early-season form to make sure his confidence is high for the targets he will chase in the middle of the year.

"I hope I can really find a groove to give a good direction for later in the season when things are going to really pick up especially with the French Open, Wimbledon, the Olympics and the U.S. Open," said the 16-times grand slam champion.

"That is going to be a key sort of swing."

Federer believes world number one Novak Djokovic will again be the player to beat in 2012.

"Djokovic was definitely the most consistent player last year and it looks like he`s in good shape again," said the Swiss who meets 2010 Qatar champion Nikolay Davydenko of Russia in the first round on Tuesday.

"It`s obviously Djokovic who is going to be followed very closely not just by the media but also by the players. It`s going to be interesting to see who`s going to have the best start to the season," added the world number three.

"You`ve got to play your best tennis against the best players in the big matches but one good match is not going to necessarily guarantee you an improvement in the rankings.”

Bureau Report

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