Oz Open: Federer is still blowing hot and cold

Monday, January 24, 2011

MELBOURNE - Swiss tennis great and 16-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is blowing both hot and cold on the tennis circuit in the last year-and-a-half. When he’s hot in terms of form, he can’t be touched, but when he overreaches himself, and if his opponent is good enough, he can be challenged.

After hiring Paul Annacone as coach in August last year, Federer knows an attacking mindset represents his best hope of besting Rafael Nadal and the remaining top six seeds in this year’s Australian Open.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, despite the well-founded assumptions of their superiority, Federer and Nadal will have to play awfully well to make their eighth grand slam denouement, given that seeds three to six - Novak Djokovic, Robin Soderling, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych - are still there, and haven’t been strained yet.

Nadal, too, is tired and sweating excessively, a state he attributes to the lingering effects of a virus.

Djokovic, whose straight sets dispatch of Nicolas Almagro yesterday continued his faultless form, fancies himself against Federer, having taken the great one here in 2008 and beaten him in the US Open semis last year.

Federer is drawn to play Djokovic in a potential semi-final, the Serbian first having to get past a white-hot Berdych, the laconic Czech who gave Fernando Verdasco a hiding yesterday. It was a dismal day for the Armada - Almagro, Robredo and Verdasco all sank. Only Nadal and David Ferrer remain for Spain.

Djokovic said Nadal and Federer were “deservedly” favourites, but that there were more contenders capable of winning major events. (ANI)

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