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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 January, 2004, 06:27 GMT
Big guns go head-to-head
With most of the big stars still in contention, the second week of the Australian Open men's tournament promises some mouth-watering contests, beginning with some tantalising quarter-finals.


ARAZI v FERRERO (3)
30------------Age-----------23
Moroccan----Nat-----Spanish
0------------Slams-----------1
1-------Career titles------11
$3.2m----Earnings----$8.9m
2------Head-to-head-------3
Third seed Juan Carlos Ferrero faces a vastly different opponent to the one he was expecting to meet in the quarter-finals.

Hicham Arazi took apart an out-of-sorts Mark Philippoussis on Monday, and if he can maintain that form he could trouble the French Open champion.

The Moroccan, making his second appearance in the last eight in Melbourne, is a brilliant shot-maker whose only weakness is the lack of consistency that has prevented him cementing a place in the world's top 20.

But Ferrero, unlike Philippoussis, is a patient baseliner who will not present Arazi with the same opportunities to hit outright winners.

Ferrero has been troubled by injury throughout the tournament and has not hit the same form he showed in becoming world number one for a brief period last year.

And though the Spaniard leads the head-to-heads, his wins have all come on clay while Arazi has triumphed in both their encounters on hard courts.


FEDERER (2) v NALBANDIAN (8)
22------------Age-----------22
Swiss--------Nat----Argentine
1------------Slams-----------0
11-------Career titles------2
$7.7m----Earnings----$2.4m
1-------Head-to-head------5

Roger Federer faced a stern fourth-round examination against a rejuvenated Lleyton Hewitt but passed the test with flying colours.

In doing so, he achieved a breakthrough victory that augurs well for his chances of a second Grand Slam title.

This is the first time the Swiss maestro has progressed beyond the fourth round in Melbourne, and he also overcame the psychological hurdle of his damaging Davis Cup final defeat to Hewitt on the same court last year.

After three routine straight-sets victories, it proved he is in form ahead of the business end of the tournament, but he will need to be against David Nalbandian.

The Argentine won the Kooyong Classic title earlier this month and has carried his superb form into Melbourne, destroying Tim Henman's conqueror Guillermo Canas.

Considered by many pundits as the dark horse for the title, that billing will certainly be justified if he can maintain his impressive record against Federer.





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