BRISBANE: Grand Slam record-holder Roger Federer will return to play next year’s Brisbane International as he warms up for a tilt at his fifth Australian Open title, organisers said Monday.
Tournament officials said the 17-time Grand Slam winner, who lost this year’s final to Lleyton Hewitt, would be the major drawcard at the Brisbane WTA/ATP event from January 4-11.
“The conditions are very similar to Melbourne so I think it’s an ideal preparation (for the Australian Open),” Federer, 33, said in a Tennis Australia statement.
“It’s an important tournament on my calendar, a tournament I’m very happy to go back to and I was very excited to go there for the first time this year.
“When I sign up for a tournament it’s because I’m going to try to win it and I want to enjoy the week there.”
Federer won the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on January 19, in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2010.
After the warm-up tournament in Brisbane, he reached his 11th successive Australian Open semi-final this year before falling to Rafael Nadal.