Federer confident of Aussie Open return

A defiant Roger Federer has no plans to retire after injury ruined his hope of a seventh Australian Open crown, bowing out to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

ROGER FEDERER
ROGER FEDERER Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Despite limping out of the Australian Open with his 39th birthday fast approaching, Roger Federer is not done with chasing grand slams.

The Swiss legend thinks he's capable of adding two more major titles to his record-breaking trophy cabinet and is determined on returning to Melbourne Park next year.

"You never know what the future holds. But especially my age, you don't know," Federer said.

"I'm confident. I'm happy how I'm feeling, to be honest. No plans to retire.

"We'll see how the year goes, how everything is with the family. We'll go from there.

"I think by having the year that I had last year, also with what I have in my game, how I'm playing, I do feel that (I can win one or two more slams)."

A fighting Federer bowed out to Novak Djokovic in a straight-sets semi-final defeat 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 6-3 after forcing himself out on Rod Laver Arena.

The 20-time major winner's record of never retiring from an ATP match was in doubt due to a groin injury suffered in his quarter-final miracle win over Tennys Sandgren.

He trained behind closed doors before Thursday night's match as speculation grew he might not take to the court.

But with everything against him - and despite believing he only had a "three-per cent chance" of winning - the six-time Australian Open champion said he played with nothing to lose.

"I thought I was going to make it, to be honest," Federer said.

"I went for a scan that same night (after beating Sandgren).

"After that we didn't push it. Today I just really rested until as late as possible.

"I don't think I would have gone on court if I felt like I had no chance to win. We saw I was still being able to make a match out of it.

"Once in the match, I felt like I was probably going to be able to finish, which was a good thing."

Djokovic said Federer even taking the court showed what a champion the Swiss was.

"Obviously he was hurting. You could see it in his movement. Respect to him for trying his best," the Serb said.

Despite the frustrating way his 21st Australian Open campaign finished, Federer took solace in making the final-four while far from his best and not playing any lead-up tournaments.

He looked gone in his third-round match against Australian John Millman, then survived seven match points to beat Sandgren.

"At the end of the day, I'm very happy. I've got to be happy with what I achieved," Federer said.

"It was the maximum to go to get at this tournament, especially after the (John) Millman and the Sandgren match."

Federer is unsure how long the injury will prevent him from being at his best, but hopes it won't be long.


AAP