Federer out to put record straight
September 07, 2005, 22:00
Nobody beats Roger Federer five times and gets away with it, so Argentine David Nalbandian
has reasons to be fearful in tomorrow's quarter-final at the US Open. Nalbandian
won his first five matches at senior level against the Swiss world number one and still holds a 5-2 advantage in their head-to-head record, including a fourth round victory at the 2003 US Open. That in itself is a rare phenomenon given Federer's current dominance of the men's game and the Swiss is itching to put the record straight.
"I like the challenge with Nalbandian
," said the defending champion. "I don't have a great record against him so it will be nice to play him." I had some tough losses against him. The last two I think I won against him but still my record's pretty bad against him. "I like to play against guys who have beaten me, especially early in the career, try to get them back.
"He was a tough opponent for me for a long, long time, up until I beat him at the Masters Cup for the first time (in 2003), and then also the Australian Open (in 2004)." We haven't played since, so it's over one and a half years ago. It will be interesting to see now how both players have improved."
Federer, who is seeking to become the first man to win both Wimbledon and US Open in consecutive years since tennis turned professional in 1968, dropped his first set of the tournament against German Nicolas Kiefer in the fourth round. He was not bothered.
"I don't expect fantastic matches early in the tournament," Federer said. "I wasn't playing great but still was able to come through. These are the matches that eventually give me a chance of playing great. "I'm not there yet, but it wasn't needed either, you know. I'm happy I've not been using too much energy."
, the 2002 Wimbledon runner-up, usually saves his best tennis for grand slams and the 11th seed can count three hardcourt wins over Federer among his five victories. This year he also reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon and the Argentine is looking forward to another Federer test. "We have a lot of history, we've played many matches," he said. "It's going to be a tough match. I think we both like to play each other, so it's going to be interesting. - Reuters
Andre Agassi forever