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The Australian Open final depends on whether Russia's Marat Safin regains his stamina after dramatic semifinals
The Australian Open final depends on whether Russia's Marat Safin regains his stamina after dramatic semifinals, in which he faced Swiss Roger Federer, world No. 1. That was the opinion of Shamil Tarpischev, Russian Tennis Federation President. Novosti had a telephone interview with him today. Yesterday's suspense-laden Safin-Federer meet came 5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6) and 9-7. The other semifinalist, Lleyton Hewitt of the host country, defeated the USA's Andy Roddick, No. 2 at the Australian Open, today, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4), 6-1. "It all depends, in principle, on the extent to which Safin recovers. He may find a two-day break not enough, what with tremendous overloads. Things would have been much better if he had beat Federer 6-3 in the decisive set, when he had a match point," reasons the Russian tennis boss. As for Hewitt, he is a formidable rival. "It takes fine health to win him. One has to pace up all the time to drive him to the point of his tether-Hewitt prefers loose play." Precision and patience will determine the winner. The Australian Open finals are due Sunday, January 30, at the Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park's central, starting 11.30, Moscow time.
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