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http://www.theage.com.au/news/tennis/federer-is-confident-hell-be-fit/2008/01/08/1199554654312.html

Federer is confident he'll be fit

January 9, 2008

ROGER Federer's health is improving after a brief hospital stay, and he may today return to the practice court after three days away. But if the world No. 1 wins a third Australian Open having played neither a tour nor exhibition event in the previous fortnight, he will be the first man to do so since Boris Becker in 1996.

After choosing not to play in the first week of the season, Federer withdrew on Monday from his regular lead-up event, the AAMI Classic, having been nobbled by a stomach virus soon after his arrival in Australia on Friday. He is likely to play a specially scheduled match at Kooyong either tomorrow or Friday, just as Becker played a one-off against Pete Sampras before winning the title at Melbourne Park two weeks later.

"I got something in my stomach, and just didn't feel good, and it hasn't really left me," Federer said yesterday. "I'm just trying to rest up; the doctor told me to take it easy a little bit. "

Asked if he was concerned about its potential impact on his chances for a third consecutive Australian Open title, Federer said: "Honestly, no, otherwise I would have left already, but I still hang around, and I definitely think it's going to turn for the good."

Lleyton Hewitt agreed, citing Federer's similar inactivity in the fortnight between the French Open and a triumphant Wimbledon last year. "He's a good enough player that he's probably going to get through the first few rounds and that's probably all he's going to need to get his eye in," Hewitt said.

And yet the last man to beat him at Melbourne Park, 2005 champion Marat Safin, was among those dubious about Federer's lack of preparation. The Swiss last played on November 18, at the Masters Cup in Shanghai.

"I think everyone needs a couple of matches before a grand slam, so I don't think it's a great idea to come straight away to a grand slam and try to perform well, because I have been in a couple (after) a few weeks without any matches. It's tough," Safin said.

Federer confirmed he had taken himself to Epworth Hospital, but tests on Monday failed to disclose the nature of the affliction that left him with gastro-like symptons and limited his practice sessions on the new Melbourne Park Plexicushion to Friday and Saturday.

His agent, Tony Godsick, told The Age from the US that Federer was "bed-ridden for some time".
 

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Discussion Starter #3
another article, some additional quotes

Federer stomach illness won't prevent Aussie Open tilt

ROGER Federer yesterday declared only an unexpected worsening of a mystery stomach illness would prevent him from defending the Australian Open title next week.

Determined to land a 13th grand slam singles major at the Open, Federer revealed he would consider making a rare request for a Tuesday start to buy more recovery time.

Federer, who is chasing a Melbourne Park hat-trick, appeared outwardly healthy yesterday but admitted he neither knew what the problem was - despite hospital tests - nor when he would fully recover.

Asked if there was a chance he would be forced out of the Open, Federer replied: "Honestly, no.

"Otherwise I would have left (Melbourne) already, but I hang around and I definitely think it's going to turn for the good and I'll be 100 per cent really before the tournament starts.

"I might ask for a Tuesday start but I hope I'm fine by Saturday."

As either the top seed or defending champion, Federer invariably features on the opening-day schedule. If an extra day is needed to ensure Federer is well, officials will not hesitate to grant his request.

Federer has not missed a grand slam singles main draw since losing in the final round of qualifying at the 1999 US Open.

Federer said he had been laid low by the illness after a light hit on Saturday. The problem worsened, prompting his management to organise a hospital visit, where tests were done.

Forced out of the Kooyong Classic - his traditional Open prelude - Federer will tackle Melbourne Park without a match since November, when he played three exhibitions against Pete Sampras in Asia.

"Well, I mean, I've felt better," he said yesterday. "But it's not terribly bad, you know, but I can't take a chance.

"I haven't been able to practise much here in Melbourne since I arrived. I hit on the courts a little bit the other day, on Saturday, I think it was.

"I've just had to take it easy from there. I've got something in my stomach and just didn't feel good and it hasn't left me yet."

Federer said he wanted to start working on his game again today. Any delay in the plan might seriously compromise his preparation.

"I hope I can start practising lightly, maybe tomorrow or so. That's really the goal," Federer said.

Melbourne swirled with rumours yesterday that Federer was beset with heart problems. But those close to him scoffed at the speculation.

Federer will not have the benefit of three guaranteed round-robin matches at Kooyong for the first time in five years.

The $1.67 favourite with TAB Sportsbet, Federer practised in Dubai for three weeks with Swiss Davis Cup captain Severin Luthi and several Swiss players before flying to Melbourne.

The five-time Wimbledon, four-time US Open and three-time Australian Open winner will now rely on intense practice sessions at Rod Laver Arena to be at his best for the first round.
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23025237-11088,00.html?from=public_rss
 

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C'Mon Fed. You're giving me heart attacks!
 

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oh noes, Fed :sad:
 

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Sounds like nothing too worrying thank goodness.
 

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That's bs he shouldn't get any extra time.
Bbbbut.....half the draw gets extra time. Aren't the early rounds played over 2 days i.e half of them won't start till Tuesday anyway? (Correct me if I'm wrong.) It's only tradition that the No 1 seed or the holder gets the whole thing going on the first day.
 

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Roddick is loving it:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22559337/

Roddick not losing sleep over Federer's illness
Flu-ridden world No. 1 won't get his usual tuneup for Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia - Andy Roddick wasn’t “losing sleep” about an illness that will cause defending champion Roger Federer to miss his normal tuneup for the Australian Open.

Federer had a serious stomach virus over the weekend and withdrew from the Kooyong exhibition tournament, where he usually prepares for the first Grand Slam event of the season.

“None of us will be losing sleep over it,” Roddick joked at a news conference Tuesday, looking across at the other seven players on the panel with him who are in the Kooyong field.
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Roddick beat Federer in the Kooyong final last year, two days before the Australian Open.

It wasn’t an official loss and didn’t seem to bother Federer, who went on to defend his Australian Open singles crown.

Federer also won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and now has 12 Grand Slam titles, two short of Pete Sampras’ world record.

The Swiss star, who arrived in Australia last week, was replaced in the Kooyong draw by Marcos Baghdatis, the 2006 Australian Open finalist.

Also in the invitation-only field is 2007 Australian Open runnerup Fernando Gonzalez, former champion Marat Safin, David Nalbandian, Andy Murray, Ivan Ljubicic and Nikolay Davydenko, a late replacement for Germany’s Tommy Haas.

Safin said it would be a setback for anyone to go into a Grand Slam event without a tuneup. Even two weeks would be enough time without a competitive match to put a player behind, Safin said.

Federer has not played a tournament since winning the Masters Cup at Shanghai last November.

But Roddick doubted it would be too damaging for Federer’s game.

“It seems to be a good formula for him to come here and play and go beat up on the rest of us next week,” Roddick said. The illness “is certainly not going to be of help, but if there’s anyone who can probably take care of himself and play his way into form, it’s Roger.”

Two-time major winner Lleyton Hewitt, aiming to be the first Australian to win the national title since Mark Edmondson in 1976, also doubted Federer would be too impeded by not playing this week.

“Between the French Open and Wimbledon, he didn’t have any matches either and it didn’t worry him too much,” said Hewitt, who is playing in the Sydney International this week. “He’s a good enough player that he’s going to get through his first few rounds and that’s probably all he’s going to need to get his eye in.”

The draw for the Australian Open will be made Friday, and the tournament starts Monday.

Federer hopes to resume practice on Wednesday or Thursday.


“The doctors have advised me that I should take a couple of days off and recuperate so that I am able to be 100 percent for the start of the Australian Open,” he said.

Federer’s replacement, Baghdatis, will open the Kooyong tournament Wednesday against No. 4-ranked Davydenko, who has been under an investigation for gambling since August.

An online site voided all bets on the match in Poland between Davydenko and 87th-ranked Martin Vassallo Arguello because of irregular betting patterns. Davydenko withdrew from the match in the third set, citing a foot injury.

Davydenko, who has been interviewed by ATP officials, said he wanted to put the issue behind him.

“Like starting a new season, I try to forget everything that’s happened last year,” Davydenko said. The investigation “didn’t finish yet, but it’s not my problem. That’s for my manager, my lawyers — I’ll just focus on preparation for the Australian Open.”

In other matches, Roddick plays Ljubicic in what should be a big-serving duel, Gonzalez meets fellow South American Nalbandian and Britain’s Murray takes on Safin.
 

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Give Roddick a bye to the Final, and Fed will still beat him, nuff' said.
 

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Lleyton Hewitt agreed, citing Federer's similar inactivity in the fortnight between the French Open and a triumphant Wimbledon last year. "He's a good enough player that he's probably going to get through the first few rounds and that's probably all he's going to need to get his eye in," Hewitt said.
I didn't imagine players kept that much tabs on each other-- I forgot that he didn't warm up in another tournament before Wimbledon.
 

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its not nice he gets privileges ,not fair .besides If hes is that good and so superior to every other player then whats the problem in starting on monday :eek:
 

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its not nice he gets privileges ,not fair .besides If hes is that good and so superior to every other player then whats the problem in starting on monday :eek:
I guess you've been living under a rock for the last four year. :rolleyes: Quit whining. AO organizers will do whatever they want. Tough luck!
 

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its not nice he gets privileges ,not fair .besides If hes is that good and so superior to every other player then whats the problem in starting on monday :eek:
wat previlages my friend....Playing R1 on tuesday???...Rafa plays his first round match on tuesday/wednesday....wat is there on tht???..dont hate some one so much that u want to make up an issue out of everything
 

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Any top player who has taken ill (and has been seen by a doctor) should have the option of starting one day later if it wouldnt overly compromise the schedule. It is the quality of tennis that matters. Higher quality tennis is better for the fans and the promotion of the sport.
 
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