Roger Federer has started the 2018 season in much the same form as last year and is favourite to win the Australian Open this weekend.

The Swiss was victorious in Melbourne last year and also secured his eighth Wimbledon crown after a long injury lay-off.

Age does not seem to have slowed the 36-year-old down and a win against Marin Cilic on Sunday would put Rafael Nadal’s world No 1 spot under serious threat.

And two-time Australian finalist Pat Cash thinks Federer is actually improving and is now a better player than he ever was in the past.

When asked if the Swiss is now a better player, he replied: “I believe so, absolutely for many years.

“People mocked me for it but Federer is a way better player now than he was – he would beat the old Federer in four sets.

“He’s got a better slice backhand, he’s got a better serve, a better topspin backhand.

“I think the volleys in the early part of his career are probably slightly better than they are now but he had lost his volley for a while and it’s better now.

“He’s now got a drop shot and he just toys with the players – forehand dropshot, backhand drophsot.

“And his game plan of taking the ball early is better.

“The Roger Federer now would be jerking the old Roger Federer around the court – wouldn’t that be a sight to see?

“But there is no doubt [he’s better] and he’s moving just as well so it’s quite impressive.”

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