Roger Federer knows he faces a huge challenge to match last year's "fairy tale" after starting the first grand slam of 2018 with a dominant Australian Open victory over Aljaz Bedene.
The Swiss maestro won 6-3 6-4 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena to kick off his title defence in style, hinting at a possible repeat of last season's remarkable exploits that saw him add Wimbledon success to his Melbourne triumph.
"I'm hoping for it to go well again," he said on court when asked about his hopes for the 12 months ahead.
"I'm worried it won't be as good as last year, I'm a year older and guys are coming back. I can't control it all, it was a fairy tale.
"This year I want to stay healthy and give myself chances and see what happens at the end."
The 19-time grand slam champion overcame long-time rival Rafael Nadal in an "epic" five-set showdown in last year's final and he was happy to reflect on a memorable encounter.
"You always need two to tango and with Rafa last year it was epic," he said.
"The stars aligned for us, it was something very special. Of course, I was thinking about it as it was my favourite tournament of the year by far.
"Being back in Melbourne is amazing and hopefully I can keep that going a bit longer."
Federer was also subjected to an apparently impromptu interview from comedy actor Will Ferrell, who asked if the tennis legend was "like a silky gazelle" or if he ate wombat meat.
The answer to both of those questions was "no".
20 de febrero 2018
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19 de febrero 2018
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|Barcelona boss Valverde tells Chelsea: History counts|
|Schmidt departs as Wolfsburg face relegation fight|
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|I was at rock bottom – Brook opens up on depression battle|
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|Toulon president charged over Bastareaud comments|
|Biggar, Halfpenny and Faletau all fit as Wales given clean bill of health|
|Hughes availability ´absolutely huge´ for England, says Alphonsi|
|Former football coach Bennell sentenced to 31 years|
|Why didn´t Jimmy Butler play in NBA All-Star Game?|
|Returning Ringrose added to Ireland Six Nations squad|
|Hummels wary of ´top European team´ as Bayern prepare for Besiktas|
|In-form Kvitova withdraws from Dubai|
|WATCH: ´Crazy´ Evra drives to West Ham training in London cab|
|Barca clash a chance for Chelsea ´to do things right´, proclaims Rudiger|
|Lucas claims Tottenham can win Champions League|
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|Barcelona tie will not decide Conte´s Chelsea future, says Deco|
|Cordner signs bumper deal with Roosters|
|Lewandowski won´t be distracted by Real Madrid rumours|
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|Coleman demolishes 20-year-old 60m world record|
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|Iniesta will not be made welcome at Stamford Bridge, warns Azpilicueta|
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