Murray seeded fourth for Australia Open
Thursday 15 January 2009
Roger Federer believes he still has "many more" grand slam titles left in him.
The 27-year-old, who was today seeded second behind Rafael Nadal for next week's Australian Open, has had his aura of invincibility shattered during the past year after losing his titles in Melbourne and at Wimbledon.
Nadal, in particular, has enjoyed success over the Swiss player, winning all four meetings in 2008, including the finals at Wimbledon and Roland Garros, while British number one Andy Murray, who is seeded fourth for the Open, has won five of their seven career encounters, most recently at the Qatar Open in Doha.
But Federer is confident he can win another slam - and equal Pete Sampras' record of 14.
"I feel like I'm fit enough, motivated enough, experienced enough that I can win many more," he said after a tough 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5) win against Fernando Verdasco at the AAMI Classic in Kooyong.
The world number two also believes winning all four grand slam titles in a calendar year can still be done, although no-one has been able to do so since Australian Rod Laver in 1969.
He said: "I think it is possible still, to be quite honest, because conditions have kind of slowed down.
"I don't think Wimbledon is that terribly fast any more and the US Open and the Australian Open feel pretty similar.
"If you are on top of things they can fall your way. Obviously you've got to win the Australian to start off with a chance but I think it is still possible."
Federer came close to emulating his hero Laver in 2004, 2006 and 2007 but each time came unstuck on his least favourite surface in Paris.
In 2004 it was Gaston Gaudio who denied him, while clay-loving Nadal has taken the title at Roland Garros every year since.
"For a while they were taking the rankings up on 14 tournaments so you would only play on your favourite surface and it was tough to win the big one not on your favourite surface and that's why you couldn't do it for a number of years," Federer explained.
"I have come close to it a few times now, but I guess you always have somebody who is really in great shape on one particular surface and to beat that guy plus another six guys is a tough thing to do, and that's what I ran into with Rafa on clay."
Bookmakers have been unable to reach a collective decision on whether Federer should be favourite for the Australian Open. Some make him the most likely winner, although others have Murray as the favourite, with the Brit trying to become the first British man to win a grand slam singles title since Fred Perry in 1936.
They are followed in the betting by Nadal, who is yet to get beyond the semi-finals at Melbourne Park, and last year's champion Novak Djokovic.
Seedings for the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park:
1. Rafael Nadal, Spain.
2. Roger Federer, Switzerland.
3. Novak Djokovic, Serbia
4. Andy Murray, Britain.
5. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France.
6. Gilles Simon, France.
7. Andy Roddick, United States.
8. Juan Martin Del Potro, Argentina.
9. James Blake, United States.
10. David Nalbandian, Argentina.
11. David Ferrer, Spain.
12. Gael Monfils, France.
13. Fernando Gonzalez, Chile.
14. Fernando Verdasco, Spain.
15. Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland.
16. Robin Soderling, Sweden.
17. Nicolas Almagro, Spain.
18. Igor Andreev, Russia.
19. Marin Cilic, Croatia.
20. Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic.
21. Tommy Robredo, Spain.
22. Radek Stepanek, Czech Republic.
23. Mardy Fish, United States.
24. Richard Gasquet, France.
25. Ivo Karlovic, Croatia.
26. Marat Safin, Russia.
27. Feliciano Lopez, Spain.
28. Paul-Henri Mathieu, France.
29. Dmitry Tursunov, Russia.
30. Rainer Schuettler, Germany.
31. Jurgen Melzer, Austria.
32. Philipp Kohlschreiber, Germany.
1. Jelena Jankovic, Serbia.
2. Serena Williams, United States.
3. Dinara Safina, Russia.
4. Elena Dementieva, Russia.
5. Ana Ivanovic, Serbia.
6. Venus Williams, United States.
7. Vera Zvonareva, Russia.
8. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia.
9. Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland.
10. Nadia Petrova, Russia.
11. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark.
12. Flavia Pennetta, Italy.
13. Victoria Azarenka, Belarus.
14. Patty Schnyder, Switzerland.
15. Alize Cornet, France.
16. Marion Bartoli, France.
17. Anna Chakvetadze, Russia.
18. Dominika Cibulkova, Slovakia.
19. Daniela Hantuchova, Slovakia.
20. Amelie Mauresmo, France.
21. Anabel Medina Garrigues, Spain.
22. Jie Zheng, China.
23. Agnes Szavay, Hungary.
24. Sybille Bammer, Austria.
25. Kaia Kanepi, Estonia.
26. Ai Sugiyama, Japan.
27. Maria Kirilenko, Russia.
28. Francesca Schiavone, Italy.
29. Alisa Kleybanova, Russia.
30. Aleksandra Wozniak, Canada.
31. Alona Bondarenko, Ukraine.
32. Tamarine Tanasugarn, Thailand.
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