Friday, January 23, 2009

Safin Talks to Mats Wilander Ahead of Federer Clash




Federer [2] vs Safin [26] Match Preview

The world number 2 owns a 9-2 record lead over Safin, with the most recent victory coming in the Wimbledon semifinals last year, where Federer won 6-3, 7-6(3), 6-4.

The two former number 1s met twice before at the Australian Open, in 2005, when eventual champion Safin edged the Swiss in an epic 5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(6), 9-7 semifinal match, and in 2004, when Federer had the upperhand and ousted Safin, 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-2, in the final.

Federer's leadup to this year's Aussie Open included a semifinal showing at the Qatar Open and a title win at the exhibition in Kooyong. Safin reached the exhibition Hopman Cup final partnering his sister, Dinara, and then pulled out of Kooyong prior to the Australian Open.

Federer's first 2 rounds at the Open were straight sets victories over Andreas Seppi and Evgeny Korolev, while Safin beat Ivan Navarro and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez also in straights.

The match is scheduled last on Rod Laver on Friday, following the Wozniacki-Dokic match which starts at 7:30 pm Melbourne time, 10:30 am Cairo time

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