2004 Australian Open

Safin vs Roddick


2-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-7 (0-7), 6-4


Safin, who had been plagued by a wrist injury since winning the U.S. Open, re-emerges as a force on the tour in a five set marathon on the Rod Laver Arena.  For nearly 3 1/2 hours, they matched ace for ace and swapped line drives in long baseline rallies. The former world No1 Safin has dropped to a low rank of 86 after six successive first-round defeats last year, looked slow and lead-footed in the first set but received a massage and a painkiller for a sore groin - and was suddenly firing on all cylinders. The third set was full of wonderful all-court tennis - clever volleys, blistering passing shots and subtle lobs, which even had Roddick applauding. The fourth set was tighter. There were few points against the serve, and Roddick twice had to save the set and force a tie-break.  Safin continues to impress at the Aussie, but after back to back 5 set matches must be taking a toll and will he have anything left when he faces Agassi ... especially if that goes 5 sets?*       







* condensed broadcast.. no 3rd set. Still 3.5 hours of tennis though.





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