In a Friday teleconference with the Australian media to promote his January 8 charity event on Rod Laver Arena, A Night with Roger Federer, the Swiss champion also discussed his struggles from mid-season, when he made a shock second-round exit at Wimbledon, until reaching the final of his hometown event in Basel in October.
"I always believe that I have improved over the last 10 years, you know, that I've not gone backwards, and I've been able to win (the Open) 10 years ago, so I always feel as I move forward I am a more complete player, a better player," Federer said.
"That's why I will always believe that I can win, as long as my body is holding up and mentally I'm really hungry travelling the world and playing matches, and that is the case right now - I'm very healthy and training extremely hard.
Eschewing his usual Middle Eastern preparation, Federer will resume tournament play in Brisbane from December 29, before contesting a 15th Melbourne Park grand slam. "I really hope to be playing my absolute best (there), which I really think is possible, and then anything is possible for me, I personally believe that.
"It's just important for me that I play better against the top guys. It's not been bad this year, but I just didn't land enough wins, so that's something I want to improve for this year."
Federer's ranking has slipped to sixth after his first season without a major finals appearance since 2002, although he won nine of his last 13 matches, reaching the Basel final, and performing solidly at both the Paris Masters and ATP World Tour Finals, after splitting with coach Paul Annacone in October. Overall, he won just four of 14 matches against other members of the top 10.
Still, he remains the sport's biggest name, and the 32-year-old who has long been courted by Brisbane officials, will return to the Queensland capital for the first time since a family holiday almost 18 years ago. He had, he said, contested every other Australian tournament - including the Hopman Cup with his now-wife Mirka - and was excited to complete the set.
"For me, it was clear for me that hopefully one time down the stretch I'm also going to go to Brisbane, especially now that it's such a good advantage. I know that Pat (Rafter's) from there, the arena is named after him, I used to play against him," Federer said.
"I vacationed in Brisbane as well when I was about 14 years old, so for me it's something I was really excited about, and maybe also just coming down early with the family is something we're looking forward to, to keep it simple, 'let's just go to Australia, settle down, and then go from there and play a nice good tournament'."
The charity function is timed to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Roger Federer Foundation, which supports the education of more than 86,000 children in southern Africa, as well as the superstar's first Australian Open triumph - in the 2004 final against Marcos Baghdatis.
A strong supporter of previous fundraising events on Rod Laver Arena for victims of the Haitian earthquake and the Queensland floods, Federer will play an exhibition match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and welcome a guest appearance from Laver himself, among the night's entertainment.
"I just thought it was the perfect place to do this. I'm excited it's really happening now," said Federer, whose philanthropic work began early in his career, and whose mother, Lynette is South African. "For me, it was somehow always clear, even though it wasn't like a planned thing, that eventually if I had an opportunity then I would try to give back, and then it was just like 'well, how do you give back?'
"And 10 years ago I already decided then to have the focus on education for kids between the age of sort-of three and 12, and have really quality education. It's something I'm very, very excited to support."
Date: 13th December 2013, Source: The Sydney Morning Herald