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Australian Open

14.01.2006 | Tennis

 

Roger is the overwhelming favorite at the injury-depleted Australian Open that starts on Monday. “I’m used to it,” Roger said this week. “Red hot or hot favorite — it really doesn’t matter.”

 

It is the eighth time in Roger's career, since Roland Garros 2004, that Roger holds the number one position at a Grand Slam.

 

Roger's chances look good, since the men’s field is missing defending champion Marat Safin, second-ranked Rafael Nadal and four-time winner Andre Agassi. “I don’t have to raise the bar” to keep winning, said Roger. “I have to stay hungry — that’s not too hard.”

 

Roger has lost twice in the last six Grand Slam tournaments, dating back to Wimbledon 2004. Both his conquerers decided they weren’t in any kind of shape to repeat such a feat at Melbourne Park. Safin was lauded for his unpredictable genius when he upset Roger in last year’s semifinals and went on to beat local favorite Lleyton Hewitt in the final. Nadal was at his precocious peak when he overcame Federer on the red Roland Garros clay one match before he clinched the French Open title.

 

Safin and Nadal pulled out with lingering knee and foot injuries, leaving Andy Roddick and Hewitt as Roger’s main rivals.

 

“It might be Roger versus the field, but for the rest of us, it’s us versus our first-round opponent,” said Andy Roddick. “He obviously made it like that by playing so well over the last couple of years.

 

Roger will face Denis Istomin, number 195 in the world ranking, in the opening round on Monday. "I've never heard about him, so I can't tell you anything on the subject. I'll go and find out."

 
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01/15/2006 | 01:03 AM
Your the only one who can win this year. Hewitt can't beat you, Roddick can't beat you--just be wary of Nalbandian, who if he gets by Roddick, and I suspect he will, might prove to be a bit of a challenge. You'll overcome him though, just as you always
01/15/2006 | 12:55 AM
God Bless you!!

I will be prayin for you all the time
01/15/2006 | 12:40 AM
Roger ,

I watch your progress from 2003 Wimbledon thru now and i notice even though your game is more polished now than at the beginning , you are much skinnier than then. Your backhand is not as good during your run @ the 2003,2004 Tennis master
01/14/2006 | 11:57 PM
I hope that you will come back in your country with the title. Good luck! I beleve in you! You are always NUMBER ONE!

Magda
01/14/2006 | 11:52 PM
Looking forward to seeing your wonderful tennis on this first GS of the year.
Vamos!
Henry
01/14/2006 | 11:49 PM
Dear Roger

I feel the same way as one of your fans - Irene. I get so nervous and at the same time excited before, during and after your matches. Sometimes, I enjoy your matches more after you have won them. Because I am so nervous during them.

An
01/14/2006 | 11:46 PM
Dear Roger,
Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Whatever happens, we are with you, always supporting you and believing in you. Just believe in yourself also. You are the best - don't forget it. God bless you.
01/14/2006 | 11:44 PM
Roger,
Stay healthy. All the best to you. One match at a time. God bless u and yr team.
So excited, finally get to see great shot making from you soon as we get to see some tennis now in the States!
01/14/2006 | 11:10 PM
Don't overlook your opponents Roger! You'll win this thing!
01/14/2006 | 10:18 PM
good luck roger
be focus and give me your best play
you are the best
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