Switzerland’s Roger Federer plays against Robin Soderling from Sweden at Zayed Sport City, Abu Dhabi, during the Mubadala World Tennis Championship while Rafael Nadal (below) from Spain prepares to return a shot against Thomas Berdych from the Czech Republic at the same venue on Friday. Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: After finishing second-best to world No 1 Rafael Nadal in Saturday's Mubadala World Tennis Championship, Roger Federer is looking for some good results in Doha to boost him for the Australian Open.

The world No 2 and winner of 16 Grand Slam titles defends the Australian Open later this month and despite his loss here to arch-rival Nadal, Federer said he was happy with his preparations.

"It's been a perfect preparation in Switzerland and Madrid (where he and Nadal played in exhibition matches) and here in Abu Dhabi. Off season actually helps not losing your game completely and just staying in touch," said Federer, who signed off last year with a brilliant win over Nadal in the season-ending event in London.

Federer, who never lost his serve here in Abu Dhabi against Nadal despite losing the final, said: "It has been very good tennis down here. In Doha I have to start from scratch. Rafa [Nadal] is there again so it's not going to be easy to win that one but I have been able to do it before.

"We will watch how it goes in Doha and then we have enough time to rest and get ready for the Australian Open. I will be ready and hope to get wins in Doha to boost my confidence," said the Swiss star.

New champion

"It's a special Australian Open coming with me being the defending champion, Rafa going for his fourth so obviously the focus is going on the two of us. Since we have played so many times in exhibitions now and also at the World Tour finals. Tennis is really going to be exciting down in Australia.

"But there can be someone else coming and break through, like [Andy] Murray, [Novak] Djokovic and I'm sure they will give all the run for the money," Federer said.

"You never know in four weeks you could have a new grand slam champion. That's what is good and tough about tennis. It's hard to keep on winning," said the man whom Nadal refers to as one of the all-time greats in tennis history.