Roger Federer, Serena Williams looking to get on a roll in Brisbane

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Roger Federer slumped to sixth in the world after winning just the one title at Halle and failing to get to a grand slam final for the first time since 2002 (File/Reuters) Roger Federer slumped to sixth in the world after winning just the one title at Halle and failing to get to a grand slam final for the first time since 2002 (File/Reuters)
SummaryFederer, Serena had contrasting 2013 but both kick off their campaigns at Brisbane International.

Roger Federer and Serena Williams had contrasting 2013 seasons but both kick off their new campaigns at the Brisbane International this week showing no signs just yet of calling time on their illustrious careers.

Born just a month apart and each with 17 grand slam singles titles to their name, Federer and Williams could justifiably claim to be the best tennis players of their generation, if not of all time.

This year, though, it was American Williams who led the way with 11 titles, including the coveted trophies at the French and U.S. Opens, and winning 78 of 82 matches to regain the number one ranking.

Federer slumped to sixth in the world after winning just the one title at Halle and failing to get to a grand slam final for the first time since 2002.

While admitting the season had been difficult at times, Federer said on his arrival in Brisbane that he was feeling fitter than he had for more than 18 months and was not about to be pushed into retirement.

"People are always going to jump in and say 'this is it', and that's what happened this year," the 32-year-old told a news conference.

"Critics are a part of the game. But they are the last guys to push me out of this game.

"Deep down I am doing it because I love the game. And now I don't want to waste any more opportunities."

Federer, top seed in the absence of double defending champion Andy Murray, will not be joined by the newest member of his coaching team, Stefan Edberg, until he reaches Melbourne.

The Brisbane field should not test the Swiss too greatly, though, with big-serving South African Kevin Anderson the only top 20 player in his half of the draw. Japan's Kei Nishikori is seeded second.

Williams had no sooner capped her stellar 2013 season by winning the WTA Championships than started plotting what she views as a long overdue sixth triumph at Melbourne Park.

ANKLE TWIST

Williams pulled out of the Brisbane tournament in 2012 after turning on her left ankle in her second round tie before exiting the Australian Open in a fourth round upset at the hands of Ekaterina Makarova.

Last year, she won the Brisbane title without losing a set but, hampered by another ankle twist in her first round match, was knocked out in the Australian Open quarter-finals by compatriot Sloane Stephens.

Having missed the 2011 Australian Open after cutting her foot

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