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Federer and Nadal Have Points to Prove in Australian Open


The usual suspects are out in full force for the 2011 Australian Open as global tennis’ two top men play out the formality that is the opening stages. Both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal recorded straightforward victories in their opening fixtures at the Aussie Open.

Federer made quick work of unseeded Slovakian Lukas Lacko in a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 straight sets victory while the Spanish superstar hardly came out of first gear to take his first round victory over Brazilian Marcos Daniel, who retired when on the receiving end of a 6-0, 5-0 thrashing.

Scotland’s Andy Murray got his campaign off to a blazing start in Melbourne when Slovakian Karol Beck withdrew when down 6-3, 6-1 and 4-2. Murray’s ability to save all three break points he was faced with will certainly give him some confidence heading into the next stages.

Though Roger Federer is considered to be the bookmakers favourite to win the men’s tournament, the margin is relatively minimal between him and Nadal. Punters will find Federer trading at a 13/8 price while Nadal is just a step behind at 15/8. Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic share an 8/1 price while Nadal’s nemesis Robin Soderling remains the only other plausible contender, at this point in time, with a 16/1 price.

Rafa Nadal is on a quest to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time – a feat that hasn’t been achieved since Rod Laver pulled it off in 1969. Roger Federer is viewing this grand slam as a major opportunity to take himself a step closer to 20 career grand slam wins. Federer has been drawn against Gilles Simon, who should offer up a bit more resistance than his predecessor while Nadal is set to tackle American Ryan Sweeting. 

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