Roger Federer refused to acknowledge that he’s the Australian Open favourite ahead of the tournament’s beginning and, unsurprisingly, still won’t. But he did name four players who have impressed him in the first two rounds.
The Swiss steamed into the last-32 with a straight sets victory over Jan-Lennard Struff and faces Richard Gasquet on Saturday.
And he also bigged up the displays of Juan Martin del Potro and Alexander Zverev, and ranks them among the contenders to win the title.
‘It doesn’t matter what I think [about the favourite],’ he said after his win over Struff. ‘It doesn’t matter who makes those calls. Still a lot of tennis to be played.
‘I did say the first two matches you’re going to see who’s doing well and not so well.
‘With Stan, we saw he’s definitely not at 100% yet. Novak seems good to me, coming through the heat today. I think that was a good test for him. Should definitely give him confidence. Zverev seems also to be in good shape. Rafa the same.
‘I think the suspects, the usual suspects, that we thought could win the tournament, seem to be around.
‘Yeah, but there’s definitely some guys missing, so the draw is going to have some openings. DelPo is also in good shape.
‘Should be an interesting tournament. I’m happy I’m still part of it really, because I knew Struff could be tough today.’