The 2019 Australian Open debut is about 10 days away as the first Grand Slam of the year will start January 14 at Melbourne Park. Last year's champion and the current world No. 3 according to atpworldtour.com, Roger Federer is expected to aim for the highest award once more as the 37-year-old Swiss Tennis superstar is expected to deliver the goods.

Trying to replicate the success of the previous two seasons, Roger Federer chose the Hopman Cup in Perth as the starting point of the season. It's the last rehearsal for Federer who hasn't committed to another tennis event prior to the 2019 Australian Open.

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Australian Open is special for Roger Federer

A while ago, Roger Federer came up with a special nickname for the Australian Open. The Swiss player calls it the 'Happy Slam' and for good reasons. To understand the connection it's enough to take a short look at the numbers. Since 2004, Federer has reached at least the semifinal stages in every edition with a single exception which was the 2015 season.

Basically, in this particular line of stats, Federer's numbers in Australia are better if compared to those from Wimbledon. Stats never lie, which indicates a good reason for him to be considered a favorite this year as well.

Roger Federer's rivals seem to have been struggling

While Federer emerged out of the offseason block quite strong, his rivals seem to have some issues. Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka returned to competitive tennis but the first impression is that they're still miles away from being a threat to those sitting at the top.

Rafael Nadal started the year with great expectations but was forced to retire right before his Brisbane International's first match due to injury. Therefore, if he chooses to play at Melbourne, the Spaniard would step in without a single hard court match under his belt in 2019.

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The young superstar Alexander Zverev (4 ATP) is also playing the Hopman Cup for Germany. But the general impression is that his level is still a bit below expectations. Moreover, he is yet to have a breakthrough at a Major tennis event. His best result at Melbourne remains a third-round appearance (2017, 2018).

At this point, Novak Djokovic is the only gun capable of threatening Roger Federer's existence at Melbourne Park. According to atpworldtour.com's report, the start of the season found him in a bit of a struggle as he showed some signs of weakness in Doha.

He is in survivor mode as he had to recover from a set down, twice.

But Federer and Djokovic are eligible for a collision starting only with the semifinal stages.

Federer wants that 100th ATP title in his pocket

A professional tennis player for almost two decades, Roger Federer can brag about his 99 ATP titles record. Now, the big number looms ahead as the 100th milestone can be completed at the 2019 Australian Open. A highly-competitive spirit, Federer has to take that fact into account as a motivational vector.

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He had some chances in the closing stages of the 2018 season but he saw his bid come to an end at the hand of Djokovic (in Paris), and by Zverev's at the ATP Finals in London.

A potential success at the 2019 Australian Open would cement his place at the top of men's tennis. Moreover, it would make him the only player to have won seven Australian Open titles. He currently shares the six-titles record with Novak Djokovic.

The reasons that keep Roger Federer so motivated at this late point of his career could be even deeper, but those stated above are easier for us to identify. He likes to play Down Under, the opposition field isn't that tough, and the 100th title perspective are all part of a mix that can lead him to another stunning result at the Australian Open.