By Abhishek Mehrotra
Djokovic beat Andy Murray in straight sets two years ago and overcame Rafael Nadal in an all-time classic last year. If he lifts the trophy this year as well, he will become the first man in the Open era to win three on the trot.
"I do believe Novak goes in as the favourite for the Australian Open," said Federer at a special media gathering organised by Credit Suisse in Singapore.
"He has won it two or three times [Djokovic has won it three times, in 2008, 2011 and 2012] already plus he won the World Tour Finals.
"He has played really well on the hard courts this year again. He's been the best hard court player in the last couple of years even though Murray won the US Open.
"So I think it's fair to say he plays best [on hard courts] but then again the tournament is two weeks long, a lot of things happen and I think Murray's playing great and he's going to be at his best for the next couple of years. He's won the US Open - that might create extra freedom for him and he might play better.
"With Rafa not around - it's unfortunate, we'd love to see him back and also we were all hoping he would come back [in Melbourne] but it creates a lot of opportunities for the other players, especially for those all the way down from five to 30 and even further down. There's this one less guy who normally runs through 90% of the players."
However, Federer did stress that he was not really bothered by not carrying the favourite tag, even though he does like the pressure that comes along with it.
"I've always enjoyed playing as the favourite," he said.
"I've played half my career as the favourite so it's been a good thing for me that I think the extra pressure made me play better. [But] For me personally, if I'm second favourite or fourth favourite or eighth, it doesn't matter. I know if I'm playing well, I can win tournaments, I'm going to be in contention at the biggest and most important events that count."
The Swiss has taken an unusual approach to his preparations for the year's first Grand Slam by not entering any tune-up tournaments leading up to Melbourne. Instead, he has reached the city early in a bid to get back into the groove on the practice courts.
"I haven't played a tournament yet, so it's a bit of a different preparation for me this year. I'm confident that if mentally I'm fresh which I feel I am and physically I'm fine, which I am too, that I'll play a good Australian Open .
"We've had four different Grand Slam champions last year and everybody seems to be in great shape except Rafa who's obviously not playing but the rest - even from five down to ten - all seem to be playing extremely well so I think it's going to be an exciting one.
"Personally, I hope I can play well there. I've never played a poor Australian Open so of course I'm hoping for a similar result down there."
This year could shape up to be yet another one in which Federer breaks a slew of records. He's tied for the most Australian Opens (4,with Andre Agassi), most Wimbledons (7, with Pete Sampras), and most US Opens (5, with Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors) which means a win in any of them would see him become the outright leader.
Federer will know the identity of his first-round opponent at the Australian Open on Friday, January 11. The tournament begins on Monday, January 14.