Calm Roger Federer still improving

A different preparation may lead to a different result for Roger Federer, one of the favourites for the Australian Open.

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Roger Federer feels calmer heading into this year's Australian Open and is pleased with his form.

The Swiss maestro's preparation for the 2015 event is far different to a year earlier, when he went through a racquet change, back issues and introduced Stefan Edberg as coach.

Federer won the Brisbane International title in the lead-up this time around, and said he felt far more settled ahead of the year's first grand slam.

"Clearly things are more calm this year, I guess, coming in," he told a media conference on Saturday.

"Last year, having the new racquet, having gotten through the back issues, having gone through the off-season, you know, feeling good but still not quite sure because I needed matches to see how it was going to cope. I came here also with Stefan Edberg helping me out.

"There was many changes that took place in the six months leading into, I guess, the Australian Open, whereas this time around I've played so well.

"Also was able to win Brisbane last week. Makes me feel more secure, I guess, this year coming into the Aussie Open."

The 17-time grand slam champion is again considered one of the favourites for the title as he aims for his first major crown since Wimbledon 2012.

Asked how close he was to being in career-best form, Federer said there were areas he had improved.

"I think I'm serving more consistent and stronger than I ever have. That's my opinion. I definitely think the racquet has helped me with that as well, a little bit," he said.

"But, you know, my concentration I do believe is there, better than it's ever been, at least I hope it is, because I feel over time you always want to improve.

"I think my backhand is working better than it has in the past as well. The question is confidence, forehand, movement.

"But clearly when I was winning almost everything, everything was so gold that nobody was even questioning anything."

Federer added: "I feel I'm playing very well. If it's the best ever, I'm not quite sure. But I'm definitely very pleased how things have gone now the last six months."

Federer faces Chinese Taipei's Lu Yen-hsun in the first round at Melbourne Park.

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