Roger Federer: Why FedEx Will Repeat in Dubai Duty Free Championships

Steven SlivkaCorrespondent IIIFebruary 20, 2013

Jan 25, 2013; Melbourne, AUSTRALIA; Roger Federer (SUI) returns a shot against Andy Murray (GBR) on day twelve of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park.  Murray won 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Pierre Lahalle/Presse Sports via USA TODAY Sports
Presse Sports-USA TODAY Sports

After a difficult five-set loss to Scotland's Andy Murray in the Australian Open, Roger Federer finds himself in a very favorable position heading into Dubai.

The 31-year-old Federer has won the Dubai Tennis Championship five times in his career, including last year in straight sets over Murray.

The similarities between last year's Dubai Championships and this year's are very similar for Federer: Both years he came off disappointing Australian Open semi-final losses, and he's still hungry to win when plenty of people have seemed to cast him off.

Of course, Federer isn't as young as he once was, and the competition has gotten tougher for him as the years have gone by.

But Federer is still one of the best tennis players in the world and should still be considered a favorite in Dubai.

With Murray not playing in this year's tournament, Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be Federer's only competition.

Djokovic is the world's No. 1 tennis player, and Tsonga has had Federer's number as of late, including a five-set marathon in the quarterfinals of this year's Australian Open.

Tsonga also made headlines when he shocked Federer at Wimbledon in 2011.

But this is a different Federer. This is a Federer who knew the competition would be difficult, and a clean state of mind would be vital to his success this season.

Federer is still a master of his craft, and a win in Dubai will help set the tone during the early stages of the season.