Roger Federer is currently in Perth, Australia as he prepares for the 2017 Hopman Cup. In the team event he is partnered with Belinda Bencic, a fellow Swiss player, and their team is considered the favorite to win the event (source: Ladbrokes). Federer was on the practice courts on Thursday from Perth with thousands of people turning out to watch him.

Top players' practices draw huge crowds

It's certainly not uncommon for the best players to have a huge following for their practices. During the qualifying tournaments for Grand Slams, for example, the main show courts will feature the practicing stars while the smaller outer courts feature the qualifying matches.

It's the norm for the practicing top players to reel in the fans while the peripheral tour players in the quallies may have anywhere from 0 to maybe a thousand fans watching.

The verified Twitter account for the Australian Open recently captured Federer's Hopman Cup practice. Federer was named as a participant in the International Premier Tennis League earlier this month, an event that he didn't end up playing in. However, with his appearance in Perth Arena, it's clear that the Swiss Maestro's return is imminent.

Ljubicic with Federer in Perth

Federer does look a tad ginger in the video footage.

However, it's not really clear from the short segment of footage what that is from. It could be that he's just starting to warm up and get loose. The taller bald man at the end of the footage clearly appears to be Federer's coach Ivan Ljubicic.

While Federer and Bencic are the outright favorites to win the Hopman Cup, the Swiss Maestro is currently about 5th favorite to win the 2017 Australian Open.

Federer's odds are about on par with Milos Raonic's, both players generally coming in at about 20/1 (ie. BetVictor). The top trio of favorites for the men's title are Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, and Andy Murray. Juan Martin del Potro was also a core favorite, however he appears to be heading toward a withdrawal.

The 2017 Australian Open starts on January 16th from Melbourne Park as Federer will make his return to a tour-level event.

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