Comedian Will Ferrell brings laughs to the Australian Open

U.S. actor Will Ferrell holds up a toy wombat during a press conference at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (Fiona Hamilton/Tennis Australia via AP)

MELBOURNE, Australia — American actor and comedian Will Ferrell isn’t just at the Australian Open this week for the tennis. He also came to (jokingly) announce his retirement from acting.

“I have kind of done all the movies I want to do. It’s a great way to go out,” Ferrell told the media at Melbourne Park on Thursday.

It was just one of several lighthearted moments during an unusual news conference with former No. 1 Jim Courier that felt more like an impromptu comedy club routine.

Among the wackier revelations by the “Anchorman” and “Blades of Glory” star:

— Roger Federer seemed “a little bit afraid of him” during his surprise on-court interview with the Swiss star following his first-round match at Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.

— Taylor Swift is the best tennis player in Hollywood, followed closely by Rihanna.

— And wombat doesn’t taste like chicken. It’s more of a “sinewy, tough meat.”

All jokes aside, Ferrell said he’s a big tennis fan and was invited by an Australian friend to come watch the tournament for a couple days this year. He’s checked out a few matches, including Federer’s first-round victory over Aljaz Bedene and Caroline Wozniacki’s dramatic comeback win over Jana Fett after saving two match points at 1-5 in the third set.

“I think it just shows the mental side of the game and how she was able to kind of draw on her experience,” Ferrell said. “It’s funny how, when a less-experienced player is up 5-1 in the final set, they’re almost, you know, the pressure is on them to close it out.”

Ferrell also revealed that he was considering playing the role of Bobby Riggs in a film about the famous “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match between Riggs and Billie Jean King in 1973, but that a competing project headlined by Steve Carrell had already started filming.

“I would have loved to (have played Riggs),” Ferrell said. “I think he was a fascinating character.”