Roger Federer was the subject of a recent article at the ATP Tour's website titled "'Rejuvenated' Federer Ready for Return" (December 23rd/no author listed). The article reviews how Federer has been missing from the ATP Tour since his semifinal loss to Milos Raonic at Wimbledon 2016. In updating his return to tour-level Tennis, Federer is quoted regarding his lengthy layoff: “I do believe it could be very beneficial for the future of my tennis career that I've had this six-month layoff,” he said. “I feel rejuvenated, refreshed. Maybe mentally I needed this rest more than I thought I would.

Maybe also my body needed a rest more than I thought I would.”

Federer will play in Perth soon

Roger Federer will return to semi-competitive tennis in just over a week's time when he will be in Perth, Australia. There is an exhibition event there known as the Hopman Cup. Federer will team up with Belinda Bencic in the round-robin tournament as they take on the rest of "Group A" in the field. Other male players in the group include Richard Gasquet, Alexander Zverev, and Dan Evans, players that Federer will face in the round robin (player participation is subject to change).

After Perth, Federer will rest in preparation for the Australian Open. For that tournament he is currently considered the fourth favorite with numerous sportsbooks, including bet365 who have the Swiss Maestro at 16/1 in the outright winner's market.

Stronger favorites at this point are the Grand Slam winners from last season: Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Stan Wawrinka.

Skepticism regarding Federer's chances

Whether Federer feels "rejuvenated" or not the question isn't how he feels after six months of rest. Rather the question is how will he feel after competing in a potentially four-hour and best-of-five tennis match in the hot Australian summer sun.

You normally only get one day off between Grand Slam matches during a fortnight, sometimes less or more depending on weather, and Federer is now 35-years-old. There is good reason to be skeptical of his abilities to win the Australian Open in the face of Andy Murray's form to close the 2016 season and Novak Djokovic's history at the event.

But it will all be settled on the courts at Melbourne Park. The tournament is scheduled to start in just over three week's time on January 16th. Federer is certainly expected to be there but, in related news, it sounds like Juan Martin del Potro's participation may come off the agenda. Most sportsbooks have removed odds on the Argentine and things did not sound good earlier this week.

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