Federer to return to Brisbane to start 2015 season

Mon Sep 1, 2014 1:39am EDT
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Roger Federer will return to the Brisbane International next January to start his 2015 season and warm up for the year's first grand slam at the Australian Open, organizers said on Monday.

The 33-year-old lost to local favorite Lleyton Hewitt in the final this year and will have another tilt at winning the Jan. 4-11 event at the Queensland Tennis Center.

"The conditions are very similar to Melbourne so I think it's an ideal preparation (for the Australian Open) ... It's an important tournament on my calendar, a tournament I'm very happy to go back to and I was very excited to go there for the first time this year," the 17-time grand slam champion said.

"When I sign up for a tournament it's because I'm going to try to win it and I want to enjoy the week there."

Federer, who advanced to the fourth round at the U.S. Open on Sunday, reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park in January after his Brisbane warm-up.

(Writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by Ian Ransom)

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after defeating Marcel Granollers of Spain in the men's singles play following their match at the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, August 31, 2014. REUTERS/Adam Hunger