Tennis legends expect Federer-Nadal face-off to be another match for the ages

January 31st, 2009 - 2:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Roger Federer

Melbourne, Jan.31 (ANI): Tennis legends are split over who will eventually win this year’’s Australian Open men’’s title — Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal — but all agree it could shape up as another match for the ages.
Between them, Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe and Tony Roche won 27 grand slam titles.
Victory for Federer would give the brilliant Swiss a record-equalling 14th slam - more than half of that illustrious quarter put together.
“If I had to pick someone, I”d pick Federer. Certainly after that big match, long match Nadal had,” Laver said at special lunch at Melbourne Park on Saturday to mark he 40th anniversary of his 1969 grand slam sweep.
Rosewall said he was picking Nadal at the start of the tournament to land his maiden hardcourt slam but has since changed his mind.
“Having watched Roger play in the last two matches, I think his game has really lifted a lot,” Rosewall said.
“And after Nadal’’s long match - even though he’’s very young, very strong - he could be a little weary. So, I”m going to lean towards Roger.”
Roche, who coached Federer to six of his slams during a two-and-a-half-year stint between 2005 and 2007, is a touch more confident his ex-charge will reverse his 2008 French and Wimbledon final losses to Nadal.
“At the beginning of the tournament, I picked Federer to win. I don”t see any reason to change,” Roche said.
“This match that Nadal had last night is going to take a lot out of him. Although he’’s young and strong, it’’s got to take a little bit of the edge off. And, I think Roger’’s got a point to prove and he”ll be up for this one.”
Newcombe, though, predicts Nadal will edge Federer in a thriller.
“Nadal will come back and, physically, he”ll be okay,” Newcombe said. (ANI)

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