ATP Tour

Fed to start 2014 in Brisbane

Roger Federer (AFP)
Roger Federer (AFP)

Sydney - Swiss champion Roger Federer will begin his 2014 season at Australia's Brisbane International for the first time, tournament organisers said on Wednesday, in a bid to improve his Grand Slam hopes.

Federer, a 17-time major winner, has slumped to world number five in the rankings for the first time in a decade during a disappointing season and said he would kick off 2014 at Brisbane ahead of the Australian Open.

"I've always hoped that I could come there (to Brisbane), so I am happy we are all able to make it work," he said.

"I'm not just coming there for the Australian Open, especially when I commit so early in advance, it's also to win in Brisbane."

Andy Murray is the defending champion.

Federer, 31, is the first player to be announced for the December 29-January 5 hard-court tournament, and director Cameron Pearson said it was a coup.

"Roger Federer is a global superstar and arguably the most accomplished tennis player in history. His attendance at this event will be a legacy for future generations," Pearson said.

Federer is hoping to reverse his 2013 fortunes at this week's clay-court Swiss Open after losing to world number 114, Argentine Federico Delbonis, during the semi-finals in Hamburg, a month after being knocked out of Wimbledon in the second round.

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