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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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Page 6 | 9
01/14/2006 | 10:17 PM
????? ??????!(Come on Roger)
You are THE BEST!
01/14/2006 | 09:42 PM
ON THE BRINK OF THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN, I CAN ONLY WISH YOU THE BEST OF WHAT YOU ARE, ROGER M'LOVE. THERE ARE NO WORDS TO EXPLAIN YOUR TALENT, YOUR DESIRE TO WIN, YOUR COMPOSURE ON AND OFF THE COURT AND, OF COURSE, YOUR COMPASSION OF OTHERS WHO ARE NEEDY.
kriko
01/14/2006 | 09:15 PM
Salut Roger!

Well, you're the favourite for a reason - and that reason is, you're Simply The Best!

Best of luck Down Under - I'll be cheering for you as always to play your game and lift that winner's trophy. Stay healthy, stay focussed and enjoy
01/14/2006 | 08:37 PM
and yes,
KEEP SMILING,ALWAYS!!!!!
01/14/2006 | 08:32 PM
hope you stay injury-free throughout the tournament and be the winner on D-day.All are wishes are with you roger.Go ahead,and just forget about the past.ALL THE VERY BEST!!!!
01/14/2006 | 08:23 PM
Rogi, you can bet I'll be cheering for you!!! I'm so happy I will get to see you play on tv! woohoo!!!
01/14/2006 | 08:15 PM
Good luck Roger. Hope you can produce your best tennis and add one more grand slam to your collection. Take care and just do it!!!
01/14/2006 | 07:16 PM
Dear Roger the great,

Wish you all the best for Australian Open. Stay focused and determined. If you want to win it, nobody can stop you. Hope your ankle is fine, keep wearing the brace if you are comfortable with that. Maybe that is a protection.
01/14/2006 | 06:37 PM
Salut Roger!

Well, you're the favourite for a reason - and that reason is, you're Simply The Best!

Best of luck Down Under - I'll be cheering for you as always to play your game and lift that winner's trophy. Stay healthy, stay focussed and enjoy y
01/14/2006 | 06:35 PM
Roger,

2006 is the year to achieve The Grand Slam, as only you (or maybe Safin if his body and mind holds) can do it. That start with winning the AO. Keep your head cool, go with your swings and win that first Grand Slam of the year, and your seventh !
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