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{modeul tennis icon}  Four time champion Roger Federer is seeking one more record in his name, of holding the most Australian Open singles titles in the Open Era, and this he can achieve, if he passes the second of the seven tests that will be rolled out in his way in the fortnight that is beaming bright in Melbourne where the season's first Grand Slam, the Australian Open is in full swing.

Federer made a perfect start to the 2011 season and clinched an ATP World Tour 500 title in Doha. The Swiss star also made a perfect finish to the year 2010 when he defeated arch nemesis Rafael Nadal in the World Tour Finals to take home his fifth title. Looks like Federer is a safe tennis bet.  The Swiss simply outplayed his first round opponent Lukas Lacko in straight sets to enter the second round and with his improved aggressive play, things are looking very bright for this superstar of tennis.

Roger Federer had a tough first-round match at the Australian Open in 2010, stretched by Russian Igor Andreev. Federer might get tested in the second round of this year's edition, facing a resurgent Gilles Simon. Their clash highlights Day 3 in Melbourne. Simon has won both their tilts, in 2008, employing tactics similar to Andy Murray's, another player who has had some success against the 16-time Grand Slam champion.

Like Federer, although certainly not as dominant, Simon is approaching better days.

Hampered by a knee injury in 2009 and 2010, his ranking tumbled. Simon started to pick it up toward the end of last season and has begun 2011 in style, winning the Sydney International by knocking off rising Serb Viktor Troicki. Simon probably wishes he could face Troicki every week, given their head-to-head record.

Simon did call the trainer in the first round against Yen-Hsun Lu because of the knee but said it wasn't related to his past problems. Rather, sitting on a plane did the damage. Both players have met a total of two times and interestingly, Simon has won both the encounters in 2008. Simon has most definitely come as a good tennis challenge for the Swiss star who will get a nice warm up before reaching the further difficult stages of the tournament. Federer is likely to post his first ever win over Simon in tomorrow's match up.


Bet on the MLBGamblers might feel compelled to place their baseball bets on San Francisco. Rival evaluators who scouted the Giants’ offensive work during spring training all left thinking the same thing; pitchers from opposing teams will have to dig deep. Similar to the Kansas City Royals of the previous two years, the Giants are not known for striking out too often.

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