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Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer progress in contrasting styles: Djokovic, Murray and Soderling lurk in the wings

Rafael Nadal

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Sunday evening and it’s seven days into the 2011 Australian Open.

The spotlight remains focused on the rivalry for the ages. Federer and Nadal are on course for a shoot-out on Sunday, the 30th of January.

That is, if the drama on court plays out as the script their fans envision.

The No.1 and No.2 seeds have taken different routes to the much expected showdown.

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Tennis Bytes: Sampras in the news, Federer wins 64th title

Pete Sampras serving

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Pete Sampras is in the news — in an active role and a passive one.

Roger Federer won the If Stockholm Open equalling Sampras’ record of 64 career titles.

Along the way, Federer passed 900 career matches —- the only current player on the tour to do so.

An interesting bit of trivia is that Federer has never retired from any of his matches.

This is hard evidence of his durability and mental toughness.

Federer’s powers may be on the wane but his popularity with fans endures.

The Stockholm Open did not offer any real challenge to Federer but sometimes the less challenging ones are harder to win.

Pete Sampras lost to Greg Rusedski 4-6,2-6 at Chengdu, China in an ATP Champions Tour event final.

The event also saw the debut of Thai star, Paradorn Srichapan.

The top seed in the event was Swede Thomas Enqvist.

This is one tour when the also-rans can get their own sweet measure of revenge for the many defeats inflicted on them by their better counterparts in their heyday.

Greg Rusedski boasts of just one win against the 14 time Grand Slam champion on the ATP tour.

Quote of the day:
It is better for civilization to be going down the drain than to be coming up it. – Henry Allen


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