Roger Federer finished an on-court workout in Perth on Thursday. He was with coach Ivan Ljubicic as the Swiss Maestro prepared for the 2017 season. It's very clear that his presence was missed by many on tour over the last half year as thousands of fans flocked to Perth Arena to watch his practice. Federer tweeted after the practice: "Thank you to the six thousand fans that showed up to watch my practice at @hopmancup."

2017 Hopman Cup starts Sunday

The 2017 Hopman Cup will start on Sunday, however Federer's team won't be in action until Monday. Hopman Cup teams are organized by nation and Federer is with fellow Swiss compatriot Belinda Bencic.

On Monday, the Swiss will face the British in what should be a dunk of a win for Federer and Bencic. The British side has Heather Watson and Dan Evans, not exactly Johanna Konta and Andy Murray.

The tournament runs from January 1st to January 7th and it is not an official ATP event. Hence ranking points are not at stake in the event for Federer. However, the tournament does guarantee multiple matches and that's a really good thing for Federer right now. If he had entered Brisbane or Chennai or one of the early-season events on tour, there was a chance that the rust in his game causes him to lose an early-round match. If that happened, then he might not have an adequate warm-up for the 2017 Australian Open.

But the round-robin format in Perth guarantees that he'll get at least a trio of matches in this upcoming week. He may get four in if he and Bencic qualify for the final on January 7th.

Federer sidelined since Wimbledon

Federer has not played since he fell down late in his semifinal match at Wimbledon against Milos Raonic.

This represents the longest break in time of his career, now coming up on six months. Certainly his fans will be going through a sort-of withdrawal procedure and Federer is incredibly popular, as evidenced by the 6,000 fans that show up for his practice at an exhibition event. However, where Federer's game is at after such a lengthy layoff certainly is not clear.

He has experience in a lot of tennis, but getting back into tip-top playing shape after missing six months isn't something that he has done before.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!