| Roger Federer after winning the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne on Saturday. (Reuters) |
Melbourne: Roger Federer completed his preparations for a tilt at Pete Samprass record of 14 Grand Slam titles with an easy 6-1, 6-3 victory over Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka at the Kooyong Classic on Saturday.
Federer captured his second title in the eight-man invitational event, which he traditionally uses to fine tune his game before his Melbourne Park campaign. He also won in 2005.
Federer missed the tournament last year due to illness and was subsequently knocked out in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
After his 57-minute victory on Saturday, he said he was confident of adding to his three Australian Open titles.
I played plenty of matches, so thats not the issue; no health problems, feeling fresh and fit and ready to go and excited, so things are the way I was hoping them to be, the world No.2 told reporters.
Last year was more just a race trying to get in shape, or in decent shape for the first round, so it is quite different.
I couldnt really work on anything. I was just trying to hopefully hit a few times before Monday, and then ... Just hoping I got through the first round and then sort of feel my way into the tournament.
This time its different, just because Ive been playing plenty of matches ...(and I have) higher expectations than last year.
I always feel on the day Im going to play well at the Slam, and its going to take an incredible performance by somebody else to beat me.
Federer set the tone for the Kooyong final against his Beijing gold medal winning doubles partner early, breaking the 23-year-old Wawrinka in the first game.
He broke Wawrinka three times in the first set to take it 6-1 before he broke again early in the second set to take a 2-0 lead.
Wawrinka put up more of a fight after that, but by then the result was a seemingly foregone conclusion with the 27-year-old Federer sealing victory with a smash from the net after he had worked Wawrinka around the court.
In the third-place playoff, Spains Fernando Verdasco used a booming serve and powerful forehand to beat Chiles Fernando Gonzalez 6-4, 6-3 in 47 minutes.