- Roger Federer trials new racket in doubles win in Brisbane
- Federer using a 98-inch racket head against 90-inch previously
- Top seed also has new coach in Stefan Edberg
- Andy Murray wins first competitive match since surgery 6-0 6-0
New Year, new coach and now a new racket, Roger Federer has been ringing the changes in his bid to top the tennis rankings again and made a winning start with his new equipment Tuesday night in Brisbane.
Using a larger 98-inch racket head, the Swiss maestro paired with Nicolas Mahut of France to beat top seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in a men's doubles match at the ATP tournament in Brisbane.
Federer practiced with the new frame in Dubai during his off-season and will now use it for a title at the opening grand slam in Australia in two weeks time.
His big test with the new model will come in his opening singles match against Jarkko Nieminen of Finland on Wednesday, but he showed it off to good effect in a 7-5 7-5 doubles victory.
17-time grand slam champion Federer used a 90-inch racket head for those triumphs, but did dabble with a larger racket last summer after losing early at Wimbledon.
Having made some minor changes, he has pledged to stick with the experiment in Australia.
"I have the feeling that this is the right time for a change in the racket. I've played through two and a half weeks with the new model and am confident," Federer told the Swiss-German daily Basler Zeitung.
"The racket is very good in the hand. But the truth will come out on the court. We'll see how it affects me in the tournaments in Australia."
Federer has also hired former six-time grand slam champion Stefan Edberg to his coaching team, having slipped to No.7 in the rankings last year and failing to make a grand slam final for the first time since 2002.
He is favorite and top seed to land the singles title in Brisbane, playing in the tournament for the first time before he heads to Melbourne for the Australian Open.
Britain's Andy Murray will likely be one of Federer's main rivals in 2014 and he is on the comeback trail after undergoing back surgery in the autumn.
Wimbledon champion Murray returned to competitive singles action on the ATP Tour Tuesday with a 6-0 6-0 thrashing of local wild card entry Mousa Zayed in the first round of the Qatar Open.
The third seed said after his easy win that he could be set to take his game to a new level having sorted out a niggling problem with his back.
"I guess with most surgeries you are trying to be better than you were before -- and so far the results have been good," he claimed.
Murray is third seed in Qatar behind top-ranked Rafael Nadal, who avenged his 2012 Wimbledon loss to Lukas Rosol with a 6-2 7-6 win over the Czech in Doha.
Second seed David Ferrer was extended by Alexandr Dolgopolov before winning in three sets, 6-3 5-7 6-3.