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Federer Confident On Dubai Return

Dubai, U.A.E.

Federer© DDFTCRoger Federer is chasing a sixth Dubai title.

Roger Federer is in a confident mood ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where he is hoping to win his sixth title in 11 visits. The Swiss has a 37-5 record at this ATP World Tour 500 hard court tennis tournament, winning the title most recently in 2012 (d. Murray). 

"Physically I'm really fit, which is very encouraging,” said Federer, who opened his 2014 campaign with a runner-up finish at the Brisbane International (l. to Hewitt) and a semi-final showing at the Australian Open (l. to Nadal). “I must say, I'm very confident about how I'm feeling. I can run for every ball. I'm waking up in the morning with no pain. I think this is as good as I've felt in probably a year. That's good a good sign looking ahead and now I just have to stay injury free.

"It's always been an important tournament because usually when I've played well in Dubai, I've played well the rest of the year,” Federer told Dave Luddy for the DTC Radio Show. “Clearly it's not always that way, and I don't want to become crazy superstitious about it. It's a tough draw here, so there's pressure trying to win this and play well here.

"The conditions are rather quick, so it's hard to control the ball well. So when you can play good tennis here, it feels like you can play good tennis anywhere else. I've struggled in the early rounds here in previous years sometimes, but overall it's been a very successful hunting ground for me and I hope for another good run this year.”

The 32-year-old Federer is one of five Top 10 players competing in Dubai. Defending champion Novak Djokovic is looking to lift the trophy for the fifth time, while Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are also in the hunt. Seeded fourth, Federer would need to go through Djokovic to reach the final.

"It's going to be tough,” said Federer. “I think Berdych is playing really well. Jo-Willy is always very dangerous. Clearly the favourite for me is Novak. He had a great end to last year, and then had a solid start to this year. Could have won against Stan at the Australian Open and who knows, maybe gone on to win the tournament there. I see him as the favourite for this tournament, plus he's played really well here. The victor is going to go through him at this tournament.”

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