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Federer: Quitting not an option

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 11-01-2017

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Roger Federer has told Sky Sports News HQ retirement was never a serious consideration during his six months out of tennis. 

Federer road-tested his knee at this month's Hopman Cup and is now in the final stages of preparation for the Australian Open, where he will be seeded way down at 17th.

The 35-year-old has not played a singles tournament since last summer's Wimbledon, where he also won the most recent of his record 17 Grand Slam titles in 2012.

But neither that long drought nor his knee problem was enough to prompt genuine thoughts of quitting - beyond the briefest of conversations with his wife Mirka.

"I didn't think of it that way," said Federer, who has been working with sports equipment manufacturer Wilson to launch a new racket, bag and tennis balls.

"I did go through a conversation with my wife and asked 'what do yo think? Shall I just walk away from it?' She's like 'no, not at all because you're not going to walk away this way, running a bath for the girls'.

"I am excited to finish on my terms. I did have a conversation once but it was really not a priority, it was always clear I was going to keep playing."

Competing for the title in Melbourne will be a tall order, by Federer's own admission, but the Swiss is hopeful of challenging in Grand Slams towards the back end of the season.

"I would hope so," he said. "First I need five or six good tournaments to get an opinion of how strong I'm going to be, but looking how I played last week I'm quite surprised how well I'm already playing.

"I'm keeping expectations low just because of the very little I've played. Playing matches is a completely different animal to practising, [but] I hope after the first three months I'll have a great opportunity to prepare for Wimbledon and the US Open."

Federer returns to a different landscape with Andy Murray now occupying the top ranking.

"You should be very proud of him," said Federer, who spent a total of 302 weeks in the same position earlier in his career. "His achievement is very strong.

"I still haven't seen him since he's become world No 1 so I can't wait to shake the hand of Andy and say 'well done, great job and keep it up'."

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