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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 February, 2004, 08:58 GMT
Federer cools Grand Slam talk
Roger Federer
Roger Federer dismissed talk of winning the Grand Slam after lifting the Australian Open for the first time.

The Swiss, who destroyed Marat Safin in the final, is adept on all surfaces but said winning all four Grand Slam tournaments in a year was unlikely.

"I have no idea what it takes, but I feel like not many guys can do it," the world number one said.

"I think it's really difficult. I'm the only guy who has a chance this year to do it, so that's not a bad situation."

Federer picked up his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last year and has also won Masters Series titles on clay, the surface on which the French Open is played.

He was in superb form in Melbourne, thrashing Juan Carlos Ferrero in the semi-finals to replace Andy Roddick as world number one.

Asked if he had the most complete game in men's tennis, he replied: "I'm maybe the most natural ball-striker.

My legs were just too tired to do the job
Marat Safin
"I feel when a guy is going to hit the ball, I know exactly with the angles and spins, I just feel that I've got that figured out. And that is just a huge advantage."

Safin equalled the record for the number of sets played at a Grand Slam during the tournament and said his earlier exertions had taken their toll, particularly on his serve.

"I think I played too many sets and spent too many hours on court," said Safin.

"My legs make the serve because you need to bend your knees and I couldn't. My legs were just too tired to do the job.

"If I'd served better I would have a higher percentage of first serve and I probably would have more chances. As I said, energy. He was fresh, I wasn't."

Safin, who performed brilliantly to dispose of Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick earlier in the tournament, said he was pleased to have reached the final.

"You cannot just look at the bad part of the story. You could say 'OK I played bad, I should have played better, this and that'. You can always find excuses," Safin said.

"But realistically, I'm happy and satisfied. I don't want to push myself down because I lost match against Federer. It's not like I played against a yo-yo, a guy who doesn't know how to play tennis.

"Let's give him some credit. He is a big player, he's number one in the world."



Links to more Australian Open 2004 stories


 

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