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Roger advances at the Australian Open

15.01.2007 | Tennis

Roger made it look difficult for a change, starting his bid for a 10th Grand Slam championship and successful Australian Open title defence by dropping serve three times in the first set.

 

But our Champion rebounded quickly after Bjorn Phau took a 5-3 lead, winning the next nine games - conceding only six points in the second set. He went on to win 7-5, 6-0, 6-4, easily dispatching the 27-year-old German who beat him seven years ago in their only previous match.

 

"I got broken in the first set three times, and that makes you a little bit nervous," said Roger, who went 92-5 with 12 titles last season and has held the top ranking since February 2004. "You try to stay cool, but I got a little bit nervous." Otherwise, he said, "It felt great to be back."

 

Roger changed his preparation schedule this year, skipping his usual regular-season opener and playing three matches in an exhibition tournament at Kooyong, where he lost the final Saturday to Andy Roddick.

 

Roger said it would take a little time to get his best rhythm back, and was happy to even the score with Phau, who beat him in 1999 at Washington.

 

In the next round, he will either play against Jonas Bjorkman from Sweden (50) or Olivier Patience (115) from France.

 
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16.01.2007 | 11:13
GO ROGER GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11
16.01.2007 | 11:10
Congratulations, Roger!!! I hope you've shaken off all the nervousness after this first round win and eventually get to hold the AO trophy once again.

Looking forward to cheering you on to the final!!!

Good luck! :)
16.01.2007 | 10:54

Nice recovery from a sticky start, Roger.
Best of luck with Bjorkman tomorrow!
Love forever,
Daley xxx
16.01.2007 | 10:54
well...in the court again...and i'm happy to see ya' in action again... so dear rogie...good luck!!! muahzzzzzz......!!!!!!!!!!
16.01.2007 | 07:18
Thank you for coming back, Roger! Congratulation on your first victory as well as your first bagel.Go on this way, Mr. FedEx!
Kim Khanh
16.01.2007 | 06:54
Congrats Roger!!!!!!!!! You did us proud again! Looking forwrd to the second round!!! All the best!
16.01.2007 | 06:12
I'm a GREAT fan of yours but like many of your other fans we are slightly concerned. I watched highlights of the Phau match there were good moments (not brilliant) and then all the unforced errors. We hope you are just rusty. If so you better pick up your
16.01.2007 | 02:39
Saw a part of the match later on today, you looked a bit off....is everything ok??
Hope you are more happy in the next match to come...hope you are alright...
XXXXkitty
16.01.2007 | 01:31
hey Rogi
congrats on your win, we were also nervous watching you. Please don't be nervous, you are the best.
good luck tomorrow
love
m&y
16.01.2007 | 01:29
Roger, congratulations. I saw parts of the match on tv. Keep on winning and getting stronger with each match.