Originally Posted by mirkaland
I wouldn't put the last two winners of AO up there on the top. Safin had a crap '05 but he was injured for a lot of it too. And at AO he proved that when he's fit and has his head on straight he's very tough to beat. Fed had one of the best years ever - going 81-4 with 11 titles including 2 GS. Losing that heartbreaker to Safin in the SF didn't affect him in a negative way, so there's no reason to believe the loss to Nalby will either.
One of the advantages that players like Nalbandian and Nadal have had, is operating under the radar and having no media, country or pressure in general from the sport on them to win.
This isn't a luxury that either Roger or Safin are able to enjoy, both put immense pressure on themselves to win, even if they are able to hide it and remain non-chalant at times.
I think that's what will make 2006 so interesting, Nadal has all of the pressure of being #2 tennis player in the world on his shoulders and now he's expected to defend Roland Garros, by the common fan he is atleast and the media in Spain is absolutely draining this kid.
In conclusion, yes, Roger & Safin are the final 2 Australian Open Champions, but there is a story within a story here.
Roger is expected to keep winning Slams and Safin is expected to show that he can compete. The MTF pressure is almost even too much for me to take! If I see one more avatar with Marat's face followed by a random caption, that is it. I may just throw on a wig and 3 inch reebok platforms to impersonate him on a tennis court just so that his fans will shush.
Just my take.