The veteran writer has an inside take on Federer's chances in Melbourne and beyond. (Getty Images)

"I love it. I still keep all my credentials and I get excited when I get my credential and I think, wow, yeah, they’re paying me this time."

As writer Joel Drucker heads to Melbourne for his 12th Australian Open, he joins Nina Pantic to preview the first Grand Slam of the year, and dive into his recent TENNIS Magazine cover story about Roger Federer. 

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The 59-year-old author of two books is entering his fifth decade of covering the game. He shares his tips and tricks to reporting, including how he found out that Ken Rosewall writes a handwritten letter to Federer ahead of every Australian Open. Drucker talks about his experiences interviewing Federer, including a memorable Indian Wells encounter. 

A preview of the Happy Slam wouldn't be complete without discussion of the Big Three, as well as defending champion Naomi Osaka. Australian favorite Alex de Minaur pulled out, but Nick Kyrgios and Ashleigh Barty are two homegrown stars poised to make an impact this fortnight.

To donate to the American Red Cross for the Australian bushfire relief effort, go to redcross.org/tennischannel.

The views, information, and/or opinions expressed are solely those of the podcast creators and do not necessarily represent those of The Tennis Channel, Inc., its affiliates or subsidiaries.