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Roger Federer’s Aussie Open comeback

Tennis and TV… I’ve done both of them forever. Tonight, the institutions that I love collided when Roger Federer joined our program. I produced the segment and John Vause dropped the racket with his interview skills. Truly a life highlight…

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Melbourne (CNN) Tennis superstar Roger Federer is making his big comeback after being sidelined for six months with a knee injury.

Federer had surgery last February and decided to take some time off after hurting his knee again at Wimbledon in July.

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Last week, the 17-time Grand Slam Champion was back on the court at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia.

Now his sights are set on the Aussie Open in Melbourne next week.

ON HOPMAN CUP LEAD UP TO AUSSIE OPEN

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“I’m very excited to be back. The six months was a long time, especially the moment you have to take the decision. You look at a year — and six months is a long time. But, then, if you look at it in a twenty year career — six months, all of a sudden, appears like very little. I’m happy I took that decision because that knee needed healing, it needed time, it needed strengthening. Like you said Hopman Cup went very well. I felt great. Now, obviously, I’m super excited that I was able to come through those three matches and to have another week to get ready for Melbourne — it’s good times again which is nice for me.”

ON TAKING 6 MONTHS OFF THE TOUR

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“That was the idea really. Health for my life — my knee and my body was going to be better off in the future — rather than always sort of trying to fix something. Because the beginning of the six months in 2016 was all about just trying to play OK and feeling OK. After a certain period of time, it’s just not enough. You don’t get too happy if you play that way too long. That’s why it was a tough decision to make — but I really hope it’s going to give me a few more years on tour. I feel rejuvenated and I have more energy. So that’s what’s exciting about what’s to come now.”

ON BEING RANKED 17th HEADING INTO AUSSIE OPEN

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“Well, I hope it’s not going to matter for me… because I’m playing that well that it doesn’t matter who’s going to come against me. Maybe it’s even better to play the better guys earlier because I might be having more energy left in the tank. Because that’s one open question is, ‘How much energy do I have left in a best of five set match or after a lot of tough matches in a row.’ So I hope the other guys are going to follow this draw and think, ‘Oh I hope the number 17 seed is not gonna be in my section,’ rather than me thinking that I hope I’m not going to be in their section.”

ON NYE DANCING IN PERTH & DAD JOKES THAT FOLLOWED

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“On the dance floor, I was pretty good. I hope on the tennis courts I can be ok. Joking aside, I hope I can do it for another few years. It was nice spending some cool moments with the up-and-coming generation on the dance floor for New Year’s Eve and feeling like it’s one big family out there — that we essentially all get along super well. I hope that with all my professionalism, with my new racket, with my team, with everything included — I’m going to really be strong for years to come. Only time will tell. I probably need three or four tournaments to really be able to tell how good I’m going to be in the future.”

ON POSSIBILITY OF PLAYING TOKYO GAMES IN 2020

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“I mean, look, I hope so, but it’s still such a long way away that I can’t be thinking this far ahead. I could do it for the Rio Olympics, but for the Tokyo Olympics, I can’t — especially coming off of injury right now. It’s just too far ahead. I did win the gold in Beijing in doubles with my friend, Stan (Wawrinka). So I do feel like I have a gold. But, of course, in the singles, I don’t. It would be amazing to win the gold in Tokyo. But, honestly, it’s too far away to make that kind of an announcement.”

Written and produced by: Ben Bamsey for “CNN Newsroom L.A.”

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