Federer realistic about future plans

30 December 2016 10:43:38 EST

Roger Federer begins the 2017 tennis season acknowledging that he has a limited time left at the top of the game.

The Swiss player, who has 17 Grand Slam singles titles, has been out of the game since losing in the semi-finals of this year's Wimbledon.

I'm really positive about how I'm feeling right now, and practice is going well.

Roger Federer

A knee injury forced him to miss the latter part of the season, including the Rio Olympics and the US Open.

Now, however he is ready to return, though he is realistic as to his ambitions in the early part of the new season following such a lengthy lay-off.

He told Sky Sports: "I'm really positive. I took these six months off so I would be playing for hopefully another two to three years, not just another six months or so. So my mindset is for the long-term.

"I'm really positive about how I'm feeling right now, and practice is going well."

"Expectations are low because I don't have the matches yet and it's going to be best-of-five from the get-go at the Australian Open."

Before the Grand Slam event, Federer gets some match practice in when representing Switzerland in the Hopman Cup.

Playing alongside Belinda Bencic, Federer is taking part in the event for the first time since 2002 and is happy to have three matches to ease his way back into competitive tennis.

Switzerland's first fixture at the Hopman Cup will be against Great Britain, represented by Dan Evans and Heather Watson.

Meanwhile, Federer, a four-time winner at Melbourne Park, is 20/1 to win the Australian Open in 2017. Defending champion Novak Djokovic is 13/8 while world number one Andy Murray, a losing finalist on five occasions is 13/8 to finally win the event.

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