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Roger to begin against Bjorn Phau

12.01.2007 | Tennis

Roger begins the defence of his Australian Open title on Monday against Bjorn Phau (ATP 83) in the opening round in <st1:city><st1:place>Melbourne</st1:place></st1:city>. The last and only time he played against the German was in <st1:state><st1:place>Washington</st1:place></st1:state>, where he lost his match – but that dates back in 1999 and was before Roger’s dramatic predominance in world of tennis began. <o:p></o:p>

Bidding for his 10th career grand slam title, Roger could land a tricky last-eight clash with Marcos Baghdatis, who will open against 's Rainer Schuettler. Andy Roddick, who faces Roger in tomorrow’s final of the Kooyong Classic, was drawn in the same half, as well as Marat Safin, setting up a potentially explosive semi-final against Roger.<o:p></o:p>

In the other half of the draw, Rafael Nadal will begin his quest to win his first grand slam title outside Roland Garros against American Robert Kendrick. It could prove to be a tough test for the Spaniard as he had to come back from two sets down when the pair clashed in the second round at <st1:place>Wimbledon</st1:place> last year.<o:p></o:p>

But Roger is no mood to take his foot off the accelerator, anyway, as he targets grand slam title number ten. "I think it's going to be really tough for people to beat me here. I'm going to make it as hard as possible," said Roger, winner at <st1:place><st1:placename>Melbourne</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>Park</st1:placetype></st1:place> in 2004 and 2006. <o:p></o:p>

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