• Federer kicks off Australian Open campaign against Lacko

    1/16/11 7:03 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Federer kicks off Australian Open campaign against Lacko Roger Federer will headline the first day of Australian Open action on Rod Laver Arena. He is set for an opening-round clash with Lukas Lacko.

    Defending champion Roger Federer will begin his quest for a fifth Australian Open title when he takes the court on Monday afternoon. It will open with a first-ever encounter against 23-year-old Slovak Lukas Lacko.

    Federer's 2011 campaign is already off to a stellar start. He rolled through a strong field in Doha two weeks ago, defeating Nikolay Davydenko in the final. Having also won Stockholm, Basel, and the World Tour Finals last fall, Federer has won four of his past five tournaments.

    Lacko also kicked off his season in Doha, and this will already be his second match against a Top 2 player. After outlasting Pere Riba in a third-set tiebreaker in the Doha first round, the world No. 97 lost to an ailing Rafael Nadal in three sets.

    This is Lacko's fourth trip Down Under. He qualified in 2007 and 2008, falling in the opening round both times. He picked up one win last year then lost to Nadal in round two.

    Federer is 48-6 lifetime at the Australian Open. He beat Andy Murray in last season's title match to build on triumphs in 2004, 2006, and 2007.

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Lacko hits a clean,flat ball.I'm not sure if that will trouble Federer or play right into his hands.

stratocast51 , 1/16/11 4:43 PM

The biggest flattest hitters of today, excluding the currently still fragile Del Potro, are probably Soderling and Davydenko (Davydenko blows Nadal off the court pretty much each time they play on a hard court, whether Nadal is fit or not, its just not a great match up for Rafa, which is why he is on th wrong side of a 1-6 H2H on hard courts).

Given those two are the most succesful flat hitters right now (as far as titles and results), and Federer holds a 30-3 H2H against the two of them, I think Lacko won't cause him to much trouble, but will be a good test as far as some decent points etc.

eelesino , 1/16/11 6:26 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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