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2002 ATP Men's Final Austalian Open
2002 WTA Women's Final Australian Open

2002 ATP Notes Men's Final Australian Open
2002 WTA Final Notes Australia Open
2002 ATP Semis Notes Australia Open
2002 ...Day Ten Australia / Wednesday
2002 ...Day Nine Australia / Tuesday
2002 ...Day Eight Australia / Monday
2002 ...Day Seven Australia / Sunday

2002 ...Day Six Australia / Saturday
2002 ...Day Five Australia / Friday
2002 ...Day Four Australia / Thursday
2002 ...Day Three Australia / Wednesday
2002 ...Day Two Australia
2002 ...Day One Australia
2002 Austalian Open Draw/Tough for USA


Australian Open 2002 ... Men's Final ...

    Thomas Johansson ... Champion
     Marat Safin ... Finalist

Thomas Johansson becomes an unlikely winner of his first Grand Slam title Sunday in Melbourne. The No. 16 seed defeats ninth-seeded Russian Marat Safin 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) to win the men's title at the Australian Open. In a tournament where many of the top players succumbed to either upset or injury, the Swedish Johansson takes advantage after advancing past the quarters of a Grand Slam for the first time.
MELBOURNE, Australia -- A year ago, Jennifer Capriati overcame personal adversity to capture her first Grand Slam title. This year, she battled back from a seemingly insurmountable deficit to defend it.



Women's Final Australian Open
    Jennifer Capriati ... Champion
    Martina Hingis ... Finalist

 

MELBOURNE, Australia -- A year ago, Jennifer Capriati overcame personal adversity to capture her first Grand Slam title. This year, she battled back from a seemingly insurmountable deficit to defend it.

Top seed Capriati saved four championship points Saturday as she rallied from a one-set, 0-4 hole to win her second straight Australian Open title with a 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 triumph over third seed Martina Hingis.

Capriati became the first woman to save four match points to win a Grand Slam singles final. The previous mark of three was last matched by Margaret Smith at the 1962 French Open.

"I didn't know if I was really going to pull that out," Capriati said. "I just kept going -- point by point -- and things turned around."

"At a set and 4-0, you shouldn't give it away," Hingis said. "But in the last few matches, I've had this problem to close it out. When I was in Sydney, I was up 5-0 and 5-3 against Kim (Clijsters) and also against Monica (Seles in the semifinals here) in the first set at 5-1, and it got close."


ATP Notes Men's Final Australian Open

 

NO. 9 MARAT SAFIN (RUS) v NO. 16 THOMAS JOHANSSON (SWE)

Head-to-Head: Safin leads 2-1
All three of the pair's previous meetings occurred in 2001, with Safin winning their last encounter in the fourth round of the US Open.

Event Surface Round Winner Score
2001 Dubai Hard (O) SF Safin 67 76 63
2001 TMS Indian Wells Hard (O) 1st Johansson 75 75
2001 US Open Hard (O) R16 Safin 62 26 64 76

This is the second occasion that a Russian has faced a Swede in a Grand Slam final in the Open Era. Yevgeny Kafelnikov defeated Thomas Enqvist 46 60 63 76 in the 1999 Australian Open final.

Safin v Johansson

22^ Age 26
6' 4" (1.93m) Height 5' 11" (1.80m)
195lbs (88kg) Weight 165lbs (74kg)
No. 11 Entry System Ranking No. 18
T54 ATP Champions Race T26
$6,688,815 Career Earnings (US$)* $3,336,593
$5,450 2002 Earnings (US$)* $14,940
10 Career Titles 6
0 2002 Titles 0
44-13 Career Grand Slam Record 36-24
Champion
2000 US Open Best Grand Slam Result Finalist
2002 Australian Open
11-3 Australian Open Record 11-7
183-107 Career Record 206-164
87-50 Career Record – Hard 121-85
7-1 2002 Record 8-2
7-1 2002 Record – Hard 8-2
13-7 Career Five-Set Record 9-6
0 Comebacks from 0-2 down 2
92-68 Career Tie-break Record 81-91
3-2 2002 Tie-break Record 2-2
13:08 Total Time on Court 15:03

^-It is Safin's 22nd birthday on the day of the final
*-earnings as of 14 January 2002


At stake for the two finalists, in addition to the prestige of the Australian Open title, is the following prize money and ATP Champions Race points:

Aus dollars Points
Champion 1,000,000 200
Finalist 500,000 140





Road to the Final
Safin Time Time Johansson
d. Anthony Dupuis 75 64 62 1:52 1st Round 2:50 d. Jacobo Diaz 61 36 76 64
d. Christophe Rochus 62 76 61 1:52 2nd Round 1:57 d. Markus Hipfl 64 61 64
d. Mikhail Youzhny 64 64 64 1:45 3rd Round 2:23 d. No. 21 Younes El Aynaoui 57 62 62 64
d. No. 8 Pete Sampras 62 64 67 76 3:33 Round of 16 2:27 d. Adrian Voinea 67 62 60 64
d. Wayne Ferreira 52 retired 0:28 Quarterfinals 2:35 d. Jonas Bjorkman 60 26 63 64
d. No. 7 Tommy Haas 67 76 36 60 62 3:38 Semifinals 2:51 d. No. 26 Jiri Novak 76 06 46 63 64


Sets Won/Lost Games Won/Lost
Safin 15*-3 114-74
Johansson 18-6 130-92
* does not include incomplete set v Ferreira

• Safin is bidding to become the first man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam singles title on his birthday. To date the closest any man has come to winning a major on his birthday was in 1981, when Bjorn Borg won his sixth Roland Garros and final Grand Slam tournament title one day after his 25th birthday.

• Safin's semifinal against Tommy Haas was suspended for 50 minutes due to a rain delay, with Haas leading 76 67 63 01. On resumption Safin won 11 of the last 13 games to win 67 76 36 60 62 in 3 hours 38 minutes.

• Safin is bidding to capture his second career Grand Slam title. Safin won his first Grand Slam title at the 2000 US Open at the age of 20 years 7 months, becoming the first Russian champion there in the Open Era. In his third US Open and first as a seed (No. 6), Safin defeated No. 4 Pete Sampras 64 63 63 in the final to hand the four-time champion only his third loss in a Grand Slam final at that time, and first in straight sets. (Sampras went on to lose in the US Open final again in 2001, also in straight sets, to Lleyton Hewitt.)

• Safin is through to his first Grand Slam final since his 2000 US Open title success. He narrowly failed in the defence of his US Open title, when he was defeated in the 2001 semifinals by Pete Sampras 63 76 63.

• Safin is bidding to give Russia its fourth Grand Slam title in the Open Era. He is looking to become the second Russian man to win the Australian Open after Yevgeny Kafelnikov's title success here in 1999.

Russians in Grand Slam finals in the Open Era
Event Player Result
1973 Wimbledon Alex Metreveli Lost to Jan Kodes 61 98 63
1996 Roland Garros Yevgeny Kafelnikov Defeated Michael Stich 76 75 76
1999 Australian Open Yevgeny Kafelnikov Defeated Thomas Enqvist 46 60 63 76
2000 Australian Open Yevgeny Kafelnikov Lost to Andre Agassi 36 63 62 64
2000 US Open Marat Safin Defeated Pete Sampras 64 63 63
2002 Australian Open Marat Safin v Thomas Johansson ???

• Safin's previous best result at the Australian Open was a fourth round showing last year, when he was defeated by Dominik Hrbaty 62 76 64. This is only his fourth Australian Open.

• Safin has lost his last three meetings with Swedish opponents, against Magnus Larsson (2nd round, 2001 Hong Kong), Andreas Vinciguerra (3rd round, 2001 TMS Paris) and Jonas Bjorkman (2nd round, 2002 Auckland).

• Having worked with three different coaches in 2000, Safin teamed up with Mats Wilander in March 2001. However the Swedish former world No. 1 is not with him in Australia, although Safin says they will join up again later in the season. He is accompanied by Israeli Amit Naor, a former player who is acting as part- coach, part-manager here, and is also receiving advice from friend Roberto Brogin, an Italian coach who is his hotel roommate here in Melbourne.

• Safin's warm-up for the 2002 Australian Open was not particularly auspicious. At Auckland he lost in the second round as the top seed, defeating Michael Chang 26 63 64 in the first round before losing to Jonas Bjorkman 63 46 63.

• In comparison to 2000, Safin suffered an inconsistent year in 2001, finishing at No. 11 on the ATP Champions Race. He suffered from back problems in the first half of the years, before winning his ninth and tenth titles at Tashkent and St Petersburg. He missed out in the defence of his US Open crown when he lost in the semifinals to Pete Sampras 63 76 63. He was a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon, where he lost to eventual champion Goran Ivanisevic 76 75 36 76.

• Safin enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2000, narrowly failing to capture the year-end No. 1 ranking. He won seven titles during the year, including his first Grand Slam success at the US Open. In November he became the youngest player to hold the No. 1 ATP Entry System ranking (20 years 9 months), an achievement Lleyton Hewitt bettered in 2001 (20 years 8 months).

• Johansson is the first Swede to compete in a Grand Slam final since Magnus Norman reached the final at 2000 Roland Garros, losing to Gustavo Kuerten 62 63 26 76.

• Johansson is bidding to become the second lowest seeded player to win the Australian Open in the Open Era. Mark Edmondson won the title unseeded in 1976.

• Johannson is looking to become the first Swedish player to win a Grand Slam title since Stefan Edberg defeated Pete Sampras 36 64 76 62 to win the 1992 US Open. He is bidding to end a three-match losing streak by Swedes in Grand Slam finals (Stefan Edberg 1993 Australian Open, Thomas Enqvist 1999 Australian Open, Magnus Norman 2000 Roland Garros).

• Johansson is also looking to become the first Swedish player to win the Australian Open since Mats Wilander in 1988. He is bidding to end a four-match losing streak by Swedes in the Australian Open final.

Swedes in the Australian Open final in the Open Era
Year Player Result
1983* Mats Wilander Defeated Ivan Lendl 61 64 64
1984* Mats WIlander Defeated Kevin Curren 67 64 76 62
1985* Stefan Edberg
Mats Wilander Defeated Mats Wilander 64 63 63
Lost to Stefan Edberg 64 63 63
1987* Stefan Edberg Defeated Pat Cash 63 64 36 57 63
1988 Mats Wilander Defeated Pat Cash 63 67 36 61 86
1990 Stefan Edberg Lost to Ivan Lendl 46 76 52 retired
1992 Stefan Edberg Lost to Jim Courier 63 36 64 62
1993 Stefan Edberg Lost to Jim Courier 62 61 26 75
1999 Thomas Enqvist Lost to Yevgeny Kafelnikov 46 60 63 76
2002 Thomas Johansson v Marat Safin ???
• played on grass at Kooyong


• Johansson has reached his first Grand Slam final in 25 appearances, dating back to his debut at the 1994 Australian Open. The following is a list of the most number of attempts taken by players in the Open Era to reach their first Grand Slam final:

Player First Grand Slam Final No. of attempts taken
Kim Warwick 1980 Australian Open 32
Andres Gomez 1990 Roland Garros 27
Thomas Muster 1995 Roland Garros 27
MaliVai Washington 1996 Wimbledon 27
Andrei Medvedev 1999 Roland Garros 26
Thomas Johansson 2002 Australian Open 25
Chris Lewis 1983 Wimbledon 25

• Should Johansson win the title, he would also appear in fifth place on the list of the most number of attempts taken by players to win their first Grand Slam title.




Player First Grand Slam Title No. of attempts taken
Goran Ivanisevic 2001 Wimbledon 48
Petr Korda 1998 Australian Open 34
Andres Gomez 1990 Roland Garros 27
Thomas Muster 1995 Roland Garros 27
Thomas Johansson 2002 Australian Open ??? 25 ???
Richard Krajicek 1996 Wimbledon 22

• No player seeded No. 16 has ever won a Grand Slam tournament title in 135 previous Grand Slam tournaments in the Open Era. The last time a player seeded No. 16 reached a Grand Slam final was at 1997 Roland Garros, where No. 16 Sergi Bruguera lost to unseeded Gustavo Kuerten 63 64 62.

• Johannson’s previous best Grand Slam performances were two quarterfinal appearances at the US Open, in 1998 (losing to eventual runner-up Mark Philippoussis 46 63 67 63 76) and 2000 (losing to Todd Martin 64 64 36 75).

• Johansson’s previous best performance at the Australian Open was his third round showing last year, when he lost to eventual semifinalist Sebastien Grosjean 64 61 64.

• In 2001 Johansson had his best season since 1998, finishing at No. 18 in the Entry System rankings. He reached a career-high position of No. 14 in June as a result of back-to-back grass court titles at Halle and Nottingham. These were the fifth and sixth titles of his career. He was also a semifinalist at Dubai and Long Island. His best Grand Slam result of the year came at the US Open, where he reached the fourth round before falling to Marat Safin 62 26 64 76.

• Johansson warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Chennai, before losing to eventual runner-up Paradorn Srichaphan 46 63 64. He went on to compete at Sydney, where he lost in the first round to Julien Boutter 76 75.

• Johansson scored a notable success on his last visit to Australia. In the opening rubber of Sweden's Davis Cup semifinal against Australia, he upset Patrick Rafter 36 67 63 62 63. He was unable to sustain this form against Lleyton Hewitt, losing 76 57 62 61 in the fourth rubber, with Australia going on to a 4-1 victory.

• Johansson is expected to lead the Sweden team that takes on Great Britain in the first round of the 2002 Davis Cup World Group in Birmingham, Great Britain from 8-10 February.
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Australia Open ... WTA Final Notes

 

CAPRIATI RETAINS No.1 RANKING

American Jennifer Capriati has held onto the world No.1 singles ranking next week by virtue of reaching Saturday’s final against Martina Hingis. Regardless of whether or not she successfully defends her title, Capriati earned enough points by beating Kim Clijsters in the semifinals. In fact, the only changes that will take place in the Top 10 next week will be in the lower reaches, with Justine Henin and Amelie Mauresmo each moving up one spot to No.7 and No.8 respectively and Jelena Dokic falling from No.7 to No.9. Martina Hingis will stay at No.4 irrespective of the finals result.

 

Sanex WTA singles Top 10 (28 January 2002) [regardless of result in singles final]
  1. Jennifer Capriati (USA)
  2. Lindsay Davenport (USA)
  3. Venus Williams (USA)
  4. Martina Hingis (SUI)
  5. Kim Clijsters (BEL)
  6. Serena Williams (USA)
  7. Justine Henin (BEL)
  8. Amelie Mauresmo (FRA)
  9. Jelena Dokic (YUG)
  10. Monica Seles (USA)

 

In other ranking news, Italian quarterfinalist Adriana Serra Zanetti will move into the Top 50 for the first time next week, rising from No.83 to around No.47.

 

HALF A DOZEN FOR HINGIS

Martina Hingis will contest her sixth consecutive Australian Open women’s singles final on Saturday, tying Evonne Goolagong Cawley for the Open Era record at this tournament. All-time, the most consecutive finals at the Australian Championships is seven, achieved by Esna Boyd (1922-1928) and Margaret Smith Court (1960-1966). Hingis will be aiming to win her first Grand Slam since the 1999 Australian Open, and in doing so breaking a run of 11 majors having not taken the title.

 

In the Open Era, the records for most consecutive Grand Slam women’s singles finals appearances are:

 

Australian             Goolagong Cawley     6        1971-1976     won 3

Hingis                     6        1997-2002     won 3 (to date)

Roland Garros       Evert                      4        1983-1986     won 3

                             Navratilova              4        1984-1987     won 1

                             Graf                       4        1987-1990     won 2

Wimbledon               Navratilova              9        1982-1990     won 7

US Open                    Evert                      6        1975-1980     won 5


 

REPEAT CONTENDERS

Saturday’s final between Hingis and Capriati is a repeat of last year’s championship match, won by Capriati in straight sets. It’s the first repeat final at the Australian Open since 1981 and 1982 when Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert went head-to-head (Navratilova winning in 1981, Evert gaining revenge the following year). The last time we saw repeat finals at a Grand Slam was in 1995 and 1996 at the US Open, when Steffi Graf defeated Monica Seles on both occasions.

 

HINGIS INTO FIFTH DOUBLES FINAL

Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova will be looking to regain the Australian Open women’s doubles title when they meet No.13 seeds Daniela Hantuchova and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in Friday’s final. The No.8 seeds this year, Hingis/Kournikova won the 1999 crown in their first-ever pairing. For Hingis, it’s the fifth time in the past six years she has reached the doubles final, winning 1997 to 1999 with three different partners.

 

Should Hingis win both singles and doubles finals (for the fourth time), it will be the 14th time in the Open Era a woman has won both titles at the Australian Open in the one year. The only other three women do this were Margaret Smith Court (1969/70/71/73), Evonne Goolagong Cawley (1974/75/76/Dec.77) and Martina Navratilova (1983/85).

 

SISTER ACT, CLIJSTERS STYLE

Kim Clijsters’s younger sister Elke is making a name for herself in the junior singles event, advancing to the quarterfinals Thursday over third-seeded Croatian Matea Mezak. The 17-year-old Clijsters meets another star in the making, Russian 14-year-old Maria Sharapova, for a place in the semifinals.

 

A LOOK AT THE FINALISTS

 

NAME                       RANK   NAT  AGE     YEAR-TO-DATE         CAREER

                          01/14              PRIZE    W/L        PRIZE    W/L

(1) CAPRIATI, JENNIFER      001   USA   25     7,600    6/ 1    4,764,224  373/145

(3) HINGIS, MARTINA         004   SUI   21    99,000   10/ 0   16,944,441  507/105

 

Note: Prize money stats before 2002 Australian Open; Match stats include results at 2002 Australian Open

 

ROAD TO THE FINAL

1-Jennifer Capriati (USA #1)

1r d. Silvija Talaja (CRO #103) 64 61 (1:02)

2r d. Meilen Tu (USA #63) 61 63 (0:55)

3r d. Eleni Daniilidou (GRE #81) 62 36 61 (1:41)

4r d. 20-Rita Grande (ITA #29) 63 76(9) (1:36)

QF d. 7-Amelie Mauresmo (FRA #9) 62 62 (1:05)

SF d. 4-Kim Clijsters (BEL #5) 75 36 61 (1:37)

Total games: 123

Won/lost: 80/43

Total time on court: 7:56

3-Martina Hingis (SUI #4)

1r d. Virginie Razzano (FRA #88) 62 62 (1:02)

2r d. Q-Greta Arn (GER #121) 61 62 (0:56)

3r d. Barbara Rittner (GER #71) 61 60 (0:46)

4r d. 15-Amanda Coetzer (RSA #19) 61 60 (0:44)

QF d. Adriana Serra Zanetti (ITA #83) 62 63 (1:13)

SF d. 8-Monica Seles (USA #10) 46 61 64 (1:40)

Total games: 101

Won/lost: 76/25

Total time on court: 6:21

 

AUSTRALIAN OPEN RECORDS

Player

Best AO Result

Best GS Result

Australian Open W-L*

(1) Jennifer Capriati

Champion 2001

Winner 2

(2001 AO, RG)

27-5

(3) Martina Hingis

Champion 1997-99

Winner 5

(1997 AO, Wimb., US; 1998 AO; 1999 AO)

44-4

* Including 2002 Australian Open matches

 

GRAND SLAM FINAL HISTORIES

Player                     Total finals    Last F Appearance      Notes

[1] Capriati                        3             Roland Garros 2001        Yet to lose a Grand Slam final; retains No.1 ranking by reaching final here

[3] Hingis                         12            Australian Open 2001     First GS final in a year; aiming to win first major since 1999 Australian Open
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Australia Open ... Men's Semis Notes
 

·         Haas has reached his second Grand Slam semifinal, having previously advanced to the semifinals at the Australian Open in 1999. Then he defeated Vince Spadea 76 75 63 in the quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov 63 64 75.

 

·         Today he is bidding to become the first German finalist at a Grand Slam tournament since Michael Stich reached the final of Roland Garros in 1996.

 

·         In Haas's defeat of No. 11 seed Roger Federer 76 46 36 64 86 in the fourth round, he saved a match point at 5-6 in the final set. It was Haas’ second successive comeback this tournament from two-sets-to-one down, following his 67 63 36 64 61 third round defeat of Todd Martin. His opponent, Safin, has yet to play a five-set match here.

 

·         Haas is the first German to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since his performance at the 1999 Australian Open.  Nicolas Kiefer lost in the quarterfinals at 2000 Australian Open and US Open, and Alexander Popp lost at the same stage at 2000 Wimbledon.


 

 

·         This is the 27th appearance by a German in a Grand Slam semifinal in the Open Era, and the sixth at the Australian Open. Germans have a win-loss record of 13-13 in Grand Slam semifinals, 2-3 in this event. Boris Becker and Michael Stich are the only Germans to have won Grand Slam tournament titles in the Open Era, with Becker having won six (Australian Open 1991 and 1996, Wimbledon 1985-86, 1989, US Open 1989) and Stich one (1991 Wimbledon).

 

·         Haas is meeting his second Russian of the tournament today. His defeat of Andrei Stoliarov in the opening round improved his overall record against Russians to 4-6, and was his first win against a Russian at a Grand Slam tournament.

 

·         Haas has a 3-8 record against seeds at Grand Slam events, including his defeat here of No. 11 Roger Federer.

 

·         Haas had lost in the second round here for the last two years. Last year he was defeated by Lleyton Hewitt 75 76 64; the year before he lost to Younes El Aynaoui 75 63 63.

 

·         Haas enjoyed another career highlight in Australia when he was a finalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, losing in five sets to Yevgeny Kafelnikov 76 36 62 46 63 to claim the silver medal.

 

·         As No. 7 seed, Haas has received the highest Grand Slam seeding of his career.

 

·         Haas ended 2001 ranked No. 8 on the ATP Entry System, his first top 10 year-end finish. He captured four titles during the year, at Adelaide (defeating Nicolas Massu 63 61), Long Island (defeating Pete Sampras 63 36 62), and back-to-back wins at Vienna (defeating Guillermo Canas 62 76 64) and TMS Stuttgart (defeating Max Mirnyi 62 62 62).  Defeat to Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean in the semifinals at TMS Paris saw him narrowly fail to qualify for the Tennis Masters Cup in Sydney, although he attended the event as an on-site reserve.

 

·         He enjoyed less success at Grand Slam events in 2001, with his best showing being a fourth round appearance at the US Open, where he lost to Lleyton Hewitt 36 76 64 62.

 

·         Haas's warm-up to the 2002 Australian Open was not particularly auspicious. He competed at the exhibition event in Kooyong where he lost all three of his matches. He was defeated by Thomas Enqvist 75 46 63, Taylor Dent 76 76 and Alex Corretja 67 64 64.

 

·         Safin advanced to his first Australian Open semifinal when Wayne Ferreira retired from their quarterfinal match in the first set, trailing 5-2, with a torn abdominal muscle. The pair were on court for only 28 minutes.

 

·         Safin completed his full set of Grand Slam quarterfinals when he advanced to the last eight here, but this is the first time he has reached a Grand Slam semifinal outside of the US Open. At Flushing Meadows he has twice made the last four.

 

·         Safin won his first Grand Slam tournament title at the 2000 US Open at the age of 20 years 7 months, becoming the first Russian champion there in the Open Era. In his third US Open and first as a seed (No. 6), Safin defeated No. 4 Pete Sampras 64 63 63 in the final to hand the four-time champion only his third loss in a Grand Slam final at that time, and first in straight sets. (Sampras went on to lose in the US Open final again in 2001, also in straight sets, to Lleyton Hewitt.)

 

·         Safin is one of five Russians to reach a Grand Slam semifinal in the Open Era, and one of only three to win one. Only Safin and Kafelnikov, a two-time Australian Open champion, have gone on to win a Grand Slam title.

• Safin has a career win-loss record of 17-4 against German players, and a perfect 5-0 record in Grand Slam play. He is currently on an eight-match winning streak against Germans. Since November 2000, Safin is undefeated in match-ups with Rainer Schuettler, Jens Knippschild and David Prinosil.

• He has a 9-5 win-loss record against seeds at Grand Slam events, including his defeat of No. 8 Pete Sampras here.

• Safin turns 22 on the day of the men's final.

• Having worked with three different coaches in 2000, Safin teamed up with Mats Wilander in March 2001. However the Swedish former world No. 1 is not with him in Australia, although Safin says they will join up again later in the season. He is accompanied by Israeli Amit Naor, a former player who is acting as part- coach, part-manager here, and is also receiving advice from friend Roberto Brogin, an Italian coach who is his hotel roommate here in Melbourne.

• Safin's warm-up for the 2002 Australian Open was not particularly auspicious. At Auckland he lost in the second round as the top seed, defeating Michael Chang 26 63 64 in the first round before losing to Jonas Bjorkman 63 46 63.

• In comparison to 2000, Safin suffered an inconsistent year in 2001, finishing at No. 11 on the ATP Champions Race. He suffered from back problems in the first half of the years, before winning his ninth and tenth titles at Tashkent and St Petersburg. He missed out in the defence of his US Open crown when he lost in the semifinals to Pete Sampras 63 76 63. He was a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon, where he lost to eventual champion Goran Ivanisevic 76 75 36 76.

• Safin enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2000, narrowly failing to capture the year-end No. 1 ranking. He won seven titles during the year, including his first Grand Slam success at the US Open. In November he became the youngest player to hold the No. 1 ATP Entry System ranking (20 years 9 months), an achievement Lleyton Hewitt bettered in 2001 (20 years 8 months).
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Day Ten Australia / Wednesday, January 23, 2002

HISTORY OF THE SEEDS
The No.1 seed has gone on to reach the final 25 times in the Open era, winning just 14 of those finals. The No.3 seed has reached five finals, winning on three occasions. The No.4 has reached four finals, winning twice (in 1995, 1997). The No.8 seed has reached just five semifinals since 1969, advancing to three finals, and has yet to win a title. With the Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 8 seeds advancing to this year’s semifinals, the following is a look at the progression of those seeds in the Australian Open since the first Open tournament in 1969:

No.1 seed WINNER – 1970-71, 1973, 1976, 1977 [Dec.], 1983, 1988-90, 1992-94, 1996, 1998
FINALIST – 1969, 1972, 1974, 1977 [Jan.], 1981-82, 1985, 1987, 1995, 2000-01
SEMIFINALIST – 1980, 1984, 1999
No.3 seed WINNER – 1975, 1980-81
FINALIST – 1976, 1988
SEMIFINALIST – 1969-71, 1974, 1977 [Jan.]. 1977 [Dec.], 1979, 1982-83, 1985, 1989, 1991-93, 2001
No.4 seed WINNER – 1995, 1997
FINALIST – 1979, 1980
SEMIFINALIST – 1969-70, 1972-74, 1976, 1984, 1990, 1992-94
No.8 seed WINNER – never won
FINALIST – 1975, 1996, 1998
SEMIFINALIST – 1973, 1988

SEMIFINAL INTERLOPERS
Since 1969, three of the Top 4 seeds have reached the semifinals on 19 occasions in the past 34 years. The following is a look at the years three or more or the Top 4 seeds reached the semifinals, and who the lower seeded players were (italics signify Top 4 seeds advancing; players in bold not seeded in Top 4):

1969 1-King 2-Court 3-Jones 4-Melville
1970 1-Court 2-Melville 3-Shaw 4-Krantzcke
1971 1-Court 2-Goolagong 3-Shaw NS-Hunt
1972 1-Goolagong 2-Wade 4-Gourlay 6-Harris
1973 1-Court 2-Goolagong 4-Melville 8-Sawamatsu
1974 1-Evert 2-Goolagong 3-Melville 4-Heldman
1976 1-Goolagong 2-Tomanova 4-Gourlay NS-Ekblom
1977 [Jan.] 1-Fromholtz 2-Melville 3-Gourlay NS-Krantzcke
1977 [Dec.] 1-Goolagong 2-Barker 3-Melville 5-Gourlay
1982 1-Navratilova 2-Evert 3-Jaeger 5-Shriver
1984 1-Navratilova 2-Evert 3-Turnbull 9-Sukova
1985 1-Evert 2-Navratilova 3-Mandlikova 5-Kohde-Kilsch
1988 1-Graf 2-Navratilova 3-Evert 8-Kohde-Kilsch
1992 1-Seles 3-Sabatini 4-Sanchez-Vicario 7-MJ.Fernandez
1993 1-Seles 2-Graf 3-Sabatini 4-Sanchez-Vicario
1994 1-Graf 2-Sanchez-Vicario 4-Sabatini 10-Date
1995 1-Sanchez-Vicario 2-Martinez 3-Pierce NS-Werdel-Witmeyer
2001 1-Hingis 2-Davenport 3-V. Williams 12-Capriati
2002 1-Capriati 3-Hingis 4-Clijsters 8-Seles

MONICA LEADS THE LIST
Looking at the most prolific winners (played at least five times) of the Australian Championships since WWII, No.8 Monica Seles has the second-best win-loss percentage, with 11-time champion Margaret Smith-Court at No.1:

Margaret Smith-Court 60-3 0.952
Monica Seles 42-2 0.945
Martina Hingis 43-4 0.915
Steffi Graf 47-6 0.887
Chris Evert 30-4 0.882
Martina Navratilova 46-7 0.867
Evonne Goolagong 41-10 0.804

ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER
It has been a long four years since a No.1 seed has claimed the women’s singles title at a Grand Slam. Fifteen majors have passed since world No.1 Martina Hingis won the second of her three Australian Opens to date in 1998. Of those 15 majors, the No.1 seed has reached the final just five times, and on all but one of those occasions (1999 Australian Open, Lindsay Davenport), the top seed was Martina Hingis. Below is a look at the seedings of the Grand Slam champions since 1998:

Year Australian Open Roland Garros Wimbledon US Open
1998 [1] Hingis [4] Sanchez-Vicario [3] Novotna [2] Davenport
1999 [2] Hingis [6] Graf [3] Davenport [7] S.Williams
2000 [2] Davenport [6] Pierce [5] V.Williams [3] V.Williams
2001 [12] Capriati [4] Capriati [2] V.Williams [4] V.Williams

AMERICAN WOMEN SHOWING THE WAY
With one American woman featuring in each of Thursday’s semifinals, there’s the possibility of the first all-American women’s singles final in Melbourne in 16 years. The final of the 1985 Australian Open (the last to be held in December prior to the move to January 1987) saw No.2 seed Martina Navratilova defeat No.1 Chris Evert 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.

The United States has dominated the women’s Grand Slam circuit with six consecutive singles titles, and has now won 9 of the last 10 Grand Slams. The last time American women dominated Grand Slams like this was in 1982-86 when Martina Navratilova combined with Chris Evert to win 11 straight and 15 of 16. Here is a comparison of the two US dynasties (non-Americans in italics):

1999-2001 1982-1986
1999 Wimbledon – Lindsay Davenport 1982 Aus. Open – Chris Evert 1984 Aus. Open – Chris Evert
1999 US Open – Serena Williams 1983 Roland Garros – Chris Evert 1985 Roland Garros – Chris Evert
2000 Aus. Open – Lindsay Davenport 1983 Wimbledon – Martina Navratilova 1985 Wimbledon – Martina Navratilova
2000 Roland Garros – Mary Pierce 1983 US Open – Martina Navratilova 1985 US Open – Hana Mandlikova
2000 Wimbledon – Venus Williams 1983 Aus. Open – Martina Navratilova 1985 Aus. Open – Martina Navratilova
2000 US Open – Venus Williams 1984 Roland Garros – Martina Navratilova 1986 Roland Garros – Chris Evert
2001 Aus. Open – Jennifer Capriati 1984 Wimbledon – Martina Navratilova 1986 Wimbledon – Martina Navratilova
2001 Roland Garros – Jennifer Capriati 1984 US Open – Martina Navratilova 1986 US Open – Martina Navratilova
2001 Wimbledon – Venus Williams
2001 US Open – Venus Williams Note: Australian Open was held in December 1977-1985; moved to January in 1987

SEMIFINAL WONDER
Jennifer Capriati’s run in the 2002 Australian Open marks the fifth consecutive Grand Slam she has featured in the semifinals. No other woman has posted such consistent results in the majors since Martina Hingis’s streak of 11 straight final four showings or better from the 1996 US Open to 1999 Roland Garros (stopped by qualifier Jelena Dokic in the 1999 Wimbledon first round).

No.2 IS MISSING
Venus Williams’s quarterfinal exit at the hands of Monica Seles marks the first time in five years the No.2 seed has failed to reach the women’s singles semifinals. In 1997, No.2 Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario was upset by Belgian Dominique Van Roost in the third round 8-6 in the third set.

BRING ON THE BELGIANS
Adding to the ever-growing list of “Belgian firsts”, Kim Clijsters becomes the first woman from Belgium to reach the Australian Open semifinals. Having already been the first Belgian Roland Garros finalist and with Justine Henin being the first Belgian finalist in Wimbledon’s long history, Belgium’s dynamic duo looks set to create more records in the years to come.

NO. 16 THOMAS JOHANSSON (SWE) v NO. 23 JIRI NOVAK (CZE)

Head-to-head: Johansson leads 2-1
Johansson won the pair’s last meeting 76 63 67 62 in the deciding rubber of the 2001 Davis Cup first round tie between Sweden and the Czech Republic, held on carpet in Helsingborg, Sweden.

Johansson won their first meeting 64 75 on carpet in the second round at 1998 Ostrava, Czech Republic, while Novak won their second 46 63 62 in the first round at 2000 Rotterdam.

The two players were born only two days apart, Novak on 22 March 1975, and Johansson on 24 March 1975.

Both players have taken more than 20 attempts to reach their first Grand Slam semifinal. The following is a list of the most number of attempts taken by players in the Open Era to reach their first Grand Slam semifinal:

Player First Grand Slam semifinal No. of attempts taken
Mark Woodforde 1996 Australian Open 37
Colin Dibley 1979 Australian Open 36
Todd Woodbridge 1997 Wimbledon 33
Jason Stoltenberg 1996 Wimbledon 31
Kim Warwick 1980 Australian Open 31
Karel Novacek 1994 US Open 29
Andres Gomez 1990 Roland Garros 26
MaliVai Washington 1996 Wimbledon 26
Thomas Johansson 2002 Australian Open 25
Chris Lewis 1983 Wimbledon 24
Jiri Novak 2002 Australian Open 23
Marc Rosset 1996 Roland Garros 23

Johansson v Novak

No. 18 Entry System Ranking No. 24
6 Titles 4
35-24 Career Grand Slam Record 25-22
Semifinalist
2002 Australian Open Best Grand Slam Result Semifinalist
2002 Australian Open
10-7 Australian Open Record 9-4
205-164 Career Record 174-148
120-85 Career Record – Hard 78-64
7-2 2002 Record 10-2
7-2 2002 Record – Hard 10-2
8-6 Career Five-Set Record 7-7
2 Comebacks from 0-2 down 4
80-91 Career Tie-break Record 57-76
1-2 2002 Tie-break Record 1-2
12:12 Total Time on Court 10:14

Road to the Semifinals
Johansson Novak
d. Jacobo Diaz 61 36 76 64 1st Round d. Nicolas Kiefer 61 60 64
d. Markus Hipfl 64 61 64 2nd Round d. Andrea Gaudenzi 26 57 62 63 63
d. No. 21 Younes El Aynaoui 57 62 62 64 3rd Round d. Francisco Clavet 63 64 61
d. Adrian Voinea 67 62 60 64 Round of 16 d. Dominik Hrbaty 64 62 57 62
d. Jonas Bjorkman 60 26 63 64 Quarterfinals d. Stefan Koubek 62 63 62
• Johansson has reached his first Grand Slam semifinal in 25 appearances, dating back to his debut at the 1994 Australian Open.

• Johannson is bidding to become the first Swedish player to reach a Grand Slam final since Magnus Norman was runner-up at 2000 Roland Garros, losing to Gustavo Kuerten 62 63 26 76.

• Johansson is bidding to become the first Swedish player to reach the final of the Australian Open since Thomas Enqvist in 1999. Enqvist was defeated by Yevgeny Kafelnikov 46 60 63 76.

• Should Johansson reach the final, he will bid to become the first Swedish player to win a Grand Slam title since Stefan Edberg defeated Pete Sampras 36 64 76 62 to win the 1992 US Open.

• Johannson’s previous best Grand Slam performances were two quarterfinal appearances at the US Open, in 1998 (losing to eventual runner-up Mark Philippoussis 46 63 67 63 76) and 2000 (losing to Todd Martin 64 64 36 75).

• Johansson’s previous best performance at the Australian Open was his third round showing last year, when he lost to eventual semifinalist Sebastien Grosjean 64 61 64.

• In 2001 Johansson had his best season since 1998, finishing at No. 18 in the Entry System rankings. He reached a career-high position of No. 14 in June as a result of back-to-back grass court titles at Halle and Nottingham. These were the fifth and sixth titles of his career. He was also a semifinalist at Dubai and Long Island. His best Grand Slam result of the year came at the US Open, where he reached the fourth round before falling to Marat Safin 62 26 64 76.

• Johansson warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Chennai, before losing to eventual runner-up Paradorn Srichaphan 46 63 64. He went on to compete at Sydney, where he lost in the first round to Julien Boutter 76 75.

• Johansson scored a notable success on his last visit to Australia. In the opening rubber of Sweden's Davis Cup semifinal against Australia, he upset Patrick Rafter 36 67 63 62 63. He was unable to sustain this form against Lleyton Hewitt, losing 76 57 62 61 in the fourth rubber, with Australia going on to a 4-1 victory.

• Johansson is expected to lead the Sweden team that takes on Great Britain in the first round of the 2002 Davis Cup World Group in Birmingham, Great Britain from 8-10 February.

• Novak has reached his first Grand Slam semifinal in 23 appearances, dating back to his debut at the 1995 US Open. He reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal in the previous round.

• This is Novak’s first meeting with a seeded player at the 2002 Australian Open.

• Novak is bidding to become the first Czech player to reach a Grand Slam final since Petr Korda won the 1998 Australian Open, defeating Marcelo Rios 62 62 62 in the final.

• Novak is the fourth different Czech player to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open in the Open Era. The last five occasions a Czech player has reached a semifinal here, he has gone on to reach the final.

Czechs in the Australian Open semifinals
Year Player Result Eventual finish
1983* Ivan Lendl Defeated Tim Mayotte 61 76 63 RU
1985* Ivan Lendl Lost to Stefan Edberg 67 75 61 46 97 --
1987* Ivan Lendl Lost to Pat Cash 76 57 76 64 --
1988 Ivan Lendl Lost to Pat Cash 64 26 62 46 62 --
1989 Ivan Lendl Defeated Thomas Muster 62 64 57 75 Winner
1989 Miroslav Mecir Defeated Jan Gunnarsson 75 62 62 RU
1990 Ivan Lendl Defeated Yannick Noah 64 61 62 Winner
1991 Ivan Lendl Defeated Stefan Edberg 64 57 36 76 64 RU
1998 Petr Korda Defeated Karol Kucera 61 64 16 62 Winner
2002 Jiri Novak v Thomas Johansson ???
* played on grass at Kooyong

• Previously Novak has enjoyed greater Grand Slam success in doubles, reaching the 2001 Wimbledon final with long-term partner David Rikl. The pair were seeded No. 4 here this year, but lost in the second round to Devin Bowen and Andrew Fisher 67 64 63. Novak has won a total of 15 career doubles titles.

• Novak’s previous best Grand Slam performance was a fourth round appearance at the 1999 US Open, where he was defeated by fellow Czech Slava Dosedel 64 75 57 75.

• Novak’s previous best performance in Melbourne was a third round appearance in 1999, when he was defeated by Andre Agassi 63 62 61. He was forced to miss last year’s event after coming down with a virus in December 2000.

• Novak came into the 2002 Australian Open with a career-high Entry System ranking of No. 24. He enjoyed his best year to date in 2001, winning his third and fourth career titles at Munich (defeating Anthony Dupuis 64 75) and Gstaad (defeating Juan Carlos Ferrero 61 67 75). He was also a semifinalist at Stuttgart Outdoor (losing to Gustavo Kuerten 46 76 75).

• Novak warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Doha and semifinals at Auckland, losing to the eventual champion on both occasions. At Doha he was defeated by Younes El Aynaoui 76 64, and at Auckland by Greg Rusedski 67 64 76.

• Novak is expected to lead the Czech Republic team that takes on Brazil in the first round of the 2002 Davis Cup World Group in Prostejov, Czech Republic from 8-10 February.

• Novak is married to Katerina and the couple have three children: son, Jakub (born December 1988); and twins Jiri Jr and daughter Katerina (born May 2001). None of his family is present in Melbourne.

 
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Australian Open .. Tuesday, January 22,2002

BELGIANS DO BATTLE AGAIN
For the second tournament in a row, Belgium’s two leading lights, world No.5 Kim Clijsters and No.8 Justine Henin will go head-to-head in Australia. In the past 12 months, Clijsters has won three of their four encounters (and both matches on hardcourts), most recently in the Sydney quarterfinals with the 18-year-old Clijsters triumphing 7-6(5), 6-2. The careers of both women have progressed at curiously similar rates, as is outlined below:

• Won their first titles in the same season, 1999: Clijsters as a qualifier at Luxembourg, Henin as a wildcard in Antwerp, her first-ever Tour main draw
• Both came close to causing huge Grand Slam upsets in 1999: Henin, a qualifier ranked No.121, fell to world No.2 Lindsay Davenport 7-5 third set in Roland Garros 2r; Clijsters, ranked No.98, led eventual champion Serena Williams 5-3 third set in 3r of the US Open
• Reached their first Grand Slam semifinals at the same tournament, 2001 Roland Garros, with Clijsters defeating her countrywoman in three sets
• Both entered the Top 10 the same week, 11 June 2001 (following Roland Garros): Clijsters at No.7 and Henin at No.9
• Both reached the Australian Open quarterfinals for the first time this year

CAPRIATI, THE QUARTERFINAL VETERAN
Jennifer Capriati is shooting for her third straight Australian Open semifinal berth, and amongst the four quarterfinalists in the top half of the draw, is clearly the most experienced. The current world No.1 is contesting her 15th Grand Slam quarterfinal at this year’s Australian Open, while Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin and Amelie Mauresmo have 10 final eight appearances between them. Capriati is also the only player to have reached the quarterfinals or better at the past five Grand Slams.

A SECOND HOME FOR MAURESMO
She names her Paris Indoors victory last year as her career highlight to date, but world No.9 Amelie Mauresmo must surely rate her Australian Open campaigns fairly well too. For the second time, the 22-year-old Frenchwoman advanced to the quarterfinals in Melbourne, the first time since storming to the 1999 final, beating then-world No.1 Lindsay Davenport in a gripping semifinal. Mauresmo’s 16-4 win-loss record (prior to her quarterfinal match) is her best of any Grand Slam, the US Open coming in second with a 9-3 record.

HINGIS REACHES 19TH CAREER GRAND SLAM
For a sixth successive year, Martina Hingis advances to the Australian Open semifinals, matching her US Open record of reaching the final four the past six occasions. This will be Hingis’s 19th career Grand Slam, having only missed that round at a major three times since 1996 Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round. Those pre-semifinal exits occurred at Wimbledon the past three years – 1999 1r l. to Jelena Dokic; 2000 QF l. to Venus Williams; 2001 1r l. to Virginia Ruano Pascual.
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Australian Open .. Day 8 ... Sunday

Former finalist Rios marches on
1998 runner-up Marcelo Rios scored his third successive straight sets victory to move into the quarterfinals. The unseeded Chilean defeated No. 23 seed Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador 75 61 64 to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal since 1999 Roland Garros. His four wins at Melbourne Park are his first here since his run to the 1998 final.

Haas wins battle of the young guns
Tommy Haas won a five-set thriller with Sydney champion Roger Federer 76 46 36 64 86 to set up a quarterfinal meeting with Marcelo Rios. Haas, at No. 7 the highest remaining seed in the draw, saved a match point on his serve at 5-6 in the final set.

Ferreira turns back the clock
South African Wayne Ferreira has reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal since 1994 Wimbledon after defeating fellow unseeded player Albert Costa 46 64 64 67 97 in four hours 10 minutes. This was the second successive five-set win for the 30 year-old, who had saved two match points in his third round defeat of Ivan Ljubicic.

LUCKY No.7 FOR MONICA?
Venus Williams and Monica Seles face-off for the seventh time in their careers in Tuesday’s quarterfinals, with Seles looking for her first win over the Wimbledon and US Open champion.

Both Americans enter the match with impressive win streaks – Williams on 24 and Seles on 17. This will be the duo’s first meeting in a Grand Slam and only their second off American soil. Coincidentally, the first also occurred in Australia at the 2000 Olympic semifinals, a match won by Williams 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

ADRIANA LOOKS TO SETTLE OLD SCORE
It will officially be the first professional meeting between Martina Hingis and Adriana Serra Zanetti, but the unseeded Italian remembers a one-off clash early in their junior days. “I was 14 at the time, and Martina was 10,” notes Serra Zanetti. “She was already a very good player, and she beat me. Before that match I was thinking ‘I can’t lose to a 10-year-old’, but I did!”

Serra Zanetti, the first Italian woman to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals, insists there’s no revenge on her mind. “That was a long time ago. She’s Martina Hingis after all, a great champion then and now, so I’m just going into the match hoping to play my best.”

HINGIS PASSES PRIZE MONEY MILESTONE
Regardless of her final results this fortnight, Martina Hingis has done well enough in Melbourne to surpass the US$17 million mark in career prize money. Hingis came into the tournament with US$16,944,441 – the A$125,000 earned to date for reaching the singles quarterfinals and A$14,275 for advancing to the doubles third round (with Anna Kournikova) is sufficient to exceed the impressive mark. Hingis is third on the women’s all-time list behind Steffi Graf ($21,895,277) and Martina Navratilova ($20,475,735).

WILLIAMS’S WINNING RECORD
Going into her quarterfinal match against world No.10 Monica Seles, Venus Williams has won her last 15 matches against Top 10 opponents. The last time she was beaten by a Top 10 player was in the 2001 Australian Open semifinals by world No.1 Martina Hingis. Since then, she has ousted the following Top Tenners in succession:
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AUSTRALIAN OPEN REVIEW
Day Seven – 20 January, 2002


Top six now out as Bjorkman strikes again
Jonas Bjorkman today accounted for the highest seed in the fourth round, disposing of No. 6 Tim Henman 62 76 64. His straight-sets victory was his third successive win in the tournament over a seeded player.

The 2002 Australian Open quarterfinals will now be played without the top six seeds, marking the first time in Grand Slam Open Era history that such a situation has occurred.

Bjorkman now takes on No. 16 seed Thomas Johansson in his second meeting this tournament with a fellow Swede. Johansson defeated Romania's Adrian Voinea 67 62 60 64 to set up the fifth all-Swedish quarterfinal in Australian Open history (Open Era), but the first since Stefan Edberg defeated Christian Bergstrom 64 64 61 on his way to a runner-up finish in 1993. Bjorkman and Johansson's head-to-head is tied at 3-3.

For Henman, the fourth round remains a barrier in any Grand Slam tournament outside Wimbledon. He has now fallen at this stage of the Australian Open for three successive years, and has twice lost fourth round matches at the US Open (in 1996 and 1998).

Koubek keeps Austrian hopes alive
Stefan Koubek has reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time in his career, ending the run of qualifier Fernando Gonzalez 75 61 67 62. He becomes the third different Austrian after Peter Feigl and Thomas Muster to advance to the last eight at the Australian Open in the Open Era, and the first Austrian to reach any Grand Slam quarterfinal for four years. (Muster played in the 1998 Roland Garros quarterfinals, where he lost to Felix Mantilla 64 62 46 63.)

Koubek will meet No. 26 seed Jiri Novak, also through to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal following his 64 62 57 62 defeat of Dominik Hrbaty in their Czech-Slovak clash.
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Australian Open ...
Day Six – 19 January, 2002

Down to the last 16

Pending the result of Pete Sampras’ night match with Nicolas Escude on Friday, there are only two former Grand Slam champions left in the main draw of the 2002 Australian Open. Six players have reached the last 16 here for the first time this year.

Red Hot Chileans advance

1998 runner-up Marcelo Rios ensured that there are two Chileans in the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the first time since 1974 with a 64 63 76 win over Alberto Martin, first round of conqueror of Lleyton Hewitt. Patricio Cornejo and Jaime Fillol met in an all-Chilean fourth round clash at 1974 Roland Garros, with Cornejo winning 62 76 46 57 64.


Ljubicic gets a taste of his own medicine

Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic was on the receiving end of a comeback from South African Wayne Ferreira to lose their third round encounter today. Ljubicic led 64 64 51 and held two match points at 53, but Ferreira fought back to win 46 46 76 63 75.


Ljubicic had saved a match point to defeat Ferreira in their only previous meeting in Indianapolis last year, and also saved three match points to defeat Bohdan Ulirach in the first round of this year’s Australian Open.

Lapentti wins four-hour marathon

1999 semifinalist Nicolas Lapentti, of Ecuador, came from two sets to love down to defeat Argentinian Gaston Gaudio 46 57 64 62 64 in four hours and 12 minutes. He now meets his third successive South American opponent in Marcelo Rios.


Haas sets up battle of the young guns

No. 7 seed Tommy Haas ended the run of 31-year-old Todd Martin 67 63 36 64 61 to set up a fourth round showdown with Sydney champion Roger Federer. The head to head is level at 1-1, although Haas posted a 63 62 victory in Australia in the semifinals of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, their first meeting.
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AUSTRALIAN OPEN REVIEW
Day Five – 18 January, 2002

Gonzalez straight through again
The battle of the qualifiers was won by Fernando Gonzalez, who defeated Alex Kim 62 62 63 to advance to his first Grand Slam round of 16 in only his fourth major. Gonzalez will take on Stefan Koubek, through to his first round of 16 at Melbourne Park after his easiest victory this tournament. The Austrian defeated Kristian Pless 76 75 63 having previously played back-to-back five-setters.

Including three rounds of qualifying, Gonzalez has now won 15 sets in a row, the 21-year-old Chilean having won all five matches in straight sets (qualifying matches are best of three sets).

The last time a qualifier reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open was in 2000, when Christophe Rochus advanced to this stage before losing to No. 2 seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov 61 63 75. The best performance by a qualifier here came in the December 1977 event, when Bob Giltinan reached the semifinals, falling to John Lloyd 64 62 60.

Another seed falls to Bjorkman
Having ousted fellow Swede and No. 24 seed Thomas Enqvist in the second round, Jonas Bjorkman continued his good form today, defeating another seed in a straight sets defeat of No. 12 Guillermo Canas. Bjorkman defeated the Argentinian 63 62 64 to set up a pre-Davis Cup clash with either Britain's Tim Henman or Greg Rusedski, pending the outcome of Friday's night match. Both are seeded players against whom Bjorkman has a winning record, 4-2 against No. 6 Henman and 6-4 against No. 28 Rusedski.

Three 2002 champions fall
Following No. 16 seed Thomas Johansson's 57 62 62 64 defeat of Doha winner Younes El Aynaoui, three pre-Australian Open champions will be out of the event by the end of today's play. Chennai champion Guillermo Canas was Jonas Bjorkman's victim, while either Adelaide champion Tim Henman or Auckland champion Greg Rusedski will be the third to fall by the completion of Friday's play. Sydney champion Roger Federer plays Rainer Schuettler in his third round match on Saturday.

Dent's Aussie run ends
For those home fans claiming wild card Taylor Dent as one of their own, home interest in the men's event ended today with the last remaining wild card's departure after a five-set struggle against Adrian Voinea. Dent lost 36 63 64 36 63, while Voinea could be joined in the last sixteen by fellow Romanian Andrei Pavel, if he defeats Albert Costa tomorrow.

Novak stays on track
Jiri Novak, the only seed left in his quarter, has advanced to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for only the second time in 23 attempts. He defeated Francisco Clavet 63 64 61 and now plays Dominik Hrbaty for a place in the quarterfinals.

Hrbaty defeated Jerome Golmard 63 61 67 75 in his third round match, and is enjoying his best Grand Slam performance since making the last eight here last year.

WTA ... WINNING STREAKS STILL ALIVE

Three players in the bottom half of the draw kept their winning streaks alive with third round wins. Venus extended her winning streak to 23 matches after defeating rising star Daniela Hantuchova in a three-set thriller, 3-6, 6-0, 6-4. Venus’ last loss was to Meghann Shaughnessy in the QF of Stanford last July.

Monica Seles has her own winning streak on the line. The four-time Australian Open champion won the last three events she entered in 2001 (Bahia, Japan Open and Shanghai), and heads into the fourth round with a 16-match Tour winning streak. This is Seles’ best win-streak since winning 34 straight matches between 1992-93.

Martina Sucha, the 21-year-old Slovakian, is making her debut in the fourth round of a Grand Slam and riding a win-streak of her own. Sucha (SOOK-ha) claimed her first Sanex WTA Tour title last week in Hobart and has won eight in a row.

FIRST-TIME FOURTH ROUNDERS

Anabel Medina Garrigues and Martina Sucha have reached a Grand Slam fourth round for the first time in their young careers. Medina Garrigues, 19, and Sucha, 20, both claimed straight-set victories en route to the fourth round. The two new faces to the Sanex WTA Tour battled each other last week in the Hobart final with Sucha claiming the title 7-6(7), 6-1. Here is a look at the bios of both players.

Martina Sucha Anabel Medina Garrigues
Residence: Nove Zamky, Slovakia Residence: Valencia, Spain
Birthdate: 20 November, 1980 Birthdate: July 31, 1982
Birthplace: Nove Zamky, Slovakia Birthplace: Valencia, Spain
Height: 1.70 m (5’7”) Height: 1.69 m (5’6 ½”)
Weight: 57 kg (125.5 lb.) Weight: 59 kg (130 lb.)
Plays: Right-handed; two-handed backhand Plays: Right-handed; two-handed backhand
Sanex WTA Tour singles titles: 1 Sanex WTA Tour singles titles: 1
Sanex WTA Tour doubles titles: none Sanex WTA Tour doubles titles: 4
2002 Prize Money: US$17,000 2002 Prize Money: US$13,775
Career Prize Money: US$205,959 Career Prize Money: US$196,702
2002 Win-Loss Record: 8-1 2002 Win-Loss Record: 9-2
Career Win-Loss Record: 190-116 Career Win-Loss Record: 146-83
Favorite TV Show: The Simpsons Superstition: Wearing same shirt when she wins
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Australian Open -- Day Four – 17 January, 2002

Unlucky 13 for Andy Roddick

No. 13 seed Andy Roddick suffered another Grand Slam injury setback when he was forced to retire in the second round against Croatian Ivan Ljubicic with a sprained right ankle. Ljubicic was leading 76 32 at the time. Roddick was playing with his ankle taped after first spraining his ankle during his opening round victory over Mariano Zabaleta.


In 2001, Roddick was forced to retire against Lleyton Hewitt in the third round of Roland Garros with a left hamstring injury.


It was a second piece of good fortune for Ljubicic, who had already saved three match points in his first round victory over Bohdan Ulihrach. He is through to the third round at a Grand Slam event for the first time.


Hewitt conqueror marches on

Spain’s Alberto Martin, who dashed Australian hopes with his first round victory over Lleyton Hewitt, is also through to the third round in Melbourne for the first time after a 36 63 63 63 victory over Switzerland’s Michel Kratochvil. He now takes on 1998 runner-up Marcelo Rios.


Melbourne comeback king sets up Sampras showdown

Nicolas Escude’s astonishing record of comebacks at Melbourne Park continued today when he fought off a two-set deficit and saved two match points to defeat Spain’s Alex Calatrava 26 26 64 75 64. The Frenchman won three matches from two-sets-to-love down, a Grand Slam record, en route to reaching the semifinals at the 1998 Australian Open.


Escude currently holds a four-match winning streak at Melbourne Park, having previously defeated Lleyton Hewitt and Wayne Arthurs in France’s 3-2 Davis Cup Final victory over Australia in December.


Escude next takes on two-time champion Pete Sampras, who today defeated Juan Ignacio Chela for the second year running.


2001 runner-up bows out

Arnaud Clement, defeated by Andre Agassi in the 2001 final, has been knocked in the second round 64 46 62 76 by Gaston Gaudio of Argentina. The Frenchman’s defeat means that none of last year’s semifinalists have reached the third round stage (Agassi and Patrick Rafter did not play).


As easy as 1, 2, 3

Germany’s Tommy Haas, at No. 7 the highest remaining seed in the top half of the draw, has conceded the fewest number of games en route to the third round. Today he saw off French qualifier Jean-Francois Bachelot 61 62 63, and has dropped only 11 games in his two matches. He now faces 1994 runner-up Todd Martin.

WTA ... AUSSIES TAKE ADVANTAGE OF WILDCARDS
For the fifth successive year, an Australian wildcard has made the most of her opportunities to reach the third round of the Australian Open. Cindy Watson is the sixth Australian wildcard since 1998 to reach the round of 32, the others being:

2002 Cindy Watson (No.194)
2001 Evie Dominikovic (No.129)
2000 Bryanne Stewart (No.275), Alicia Molik (No.116)
1999 Jelena Dokic (unranked)
1998 Annabel Ellwood (No.115)

Schiavone meets four-time former Australian Open champion Monica Seles for a fourth round berth. While the women have never played each other in a regular Tour event, they clashed in Hopman Cup competition in Perth just a fortnight ago. The 21-year-old caused one of the event’s biggest ever surprises, defeating the world No.10 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, having already beaten Kim Clijsters in the same event.

HERE COME THE ITALIANS
Another first is taking place this week in the women’s singles draw, with three Italians advancing to the third round for the first time. Silvia Farina Elia, Francesca Schiavone and Adriana Serra Zanetti are all in the bottom half of the draw’s round of 32, with Farina Elia and Serra Zanetti taking on each other on Friday.

It is the second year in a row an Italian woman will have reached the round of 16, with Rita Grande flying the flag in 2001.

SHRIVER TO ENTER HALL OF FAME
American Pam Shriver (soon to marry Australian actor George Lazenby) will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame this coming July, along with former men’s No.1 Mats Wilander (SWE).

Shriver won 21 singles titles and 106 doubles titles (including an amazing 21 Grand Slam women’s doubles titles – 20 of those with Martina Navratilova, possibly the most formidable women’s team ever) during her 20-year career. Shriver reached a career best singles ranking of No.3 and No.1 in doubles. At the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Shriver won a gold medal with Zina Garrison, and was a member of the victorious United States Fed Cup teams in 1986 and 1989.
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Day Three Australia / Wednesday

Day of records at Melbourne Park
For the first time in Open Era history (since 1968) the top five men’s seeds have all lost before the third round at a Grand Slam event. No. 4 seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov and No. 5 Sebastien Grosjean both lost second round matches today to follow Lleyton Hewitt (1), Gustavo Kuerten (2) and Andre Agassi (3) out of the event. Britain’s Tim Henman, at No. 6, is the highest remaining seed following his 63 64 61 second round defeat of Vladimir Voltchkov.

With the defeats of Agassi, Kuerten and Hewitt, Goran Ivanisevic is the only current Grand Slam champion left in the draw pending the result of his night match with Jerome Golmard.

Rusedski sets up historic third round clash
Greg Rusedski’s 76 63 64 second round defeat of the last Australian survivor Mark Philippoussis has set up an historic third round clash with fellow Brit Tim Henman at Melbourne Park. This is the first time in Open Era history (since 1968) that two British players have faced each other at the Australian Open.

British players have faced each other on 22 previous occasions at Grand Slam events in the Open Era, but only four of these meetings have occurred outside Wimbledon.

Henman leads Rusedski 4-2 in head to head meetings, and has won the last three encounters. They met just two weeks ago in the Adelaide quarterfinals, Henman winning 64 64.

Last Australian bows out in Melbourne
Philippoussis’ defeat by Rusedski means that no Australian man has reached the third round at the Australian Open for the first time in Open Era history.

The last time that no Australian reached the third round at any of the Grand Slam events was at the 1989 US Open, when Darren Cahill, John Fitzgerald, Wally Masur and Mark Woodforde all suffered second round defeats.

Gonzalez and Kim set up a battle of the qualifiers
A qualifier is guaranteed a place in the fourth round of the Australian Open after Chile’s Fernando Gonzalez and American Alex Kim set up a third round meeting. Today Kim upset 1999 champion and No. 4 seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov 63 75 63, while Gonzalez despatched No. 32 seed Tommy Robredo 62 64 64.

Comeback king Koubek battles into third round
Austria’s Stefan Koubek came back from two sets down for the second successive match to move into the third round. Today he overcame American James Blake 46 26 64 61 62 to set up a third round meeting with former world junior champion Kristian Pless of Denmark.
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Day Two Australia / Tuesday

Hewitt takes earliest Australian Open exit for the No. 1 seed
With Lleyton Hewitt's loss to Alberto Martin, the Australian Open has lost its No. 1 seed in the opening round for the first time in Open Era history (since 1968). The last time the top seed lost his first round match at any Grand Slam was at the 1990 US Open, when No. 1 Stefan Edberg was ousted by Alexander Volkov 63 76 62.

Hewitt follows No. 2 seed Gustavo Kuerten out of the tournament, the Brazilian yesterday losing a two set lead and struggling with a hip injury before succumbing to Julien Boutter 36 46 75 63 63. The only previous time in Open Era history that both the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds have lost in the first round of a Grand Slam was at 1990 Roland Garros. Then, a Spaniard was also responsible for the demise of the top seed: Sergi Bruguera defeated No. 1 Stefan Edberg 64 62 61, while Goran Ivanisevic accounted for No. 2 Boris Becker 57 64 75 62.

And then there was one
Yesterday, five Australian men lost in the first round of their home Grand Slam. Today, Andrew Ilie, Wayne Arthurs, and wild cards Scott Draper, Richard Fromberg and Todd Larkham were joined by wild cards Jaymon Crabb and Todd Reid as well as No. 1 seed Lleyton Hewitt.

This leaves Australia with one player through to the second round of the Australian Open for the first time in Open Era history. The previous fewest Aussie men to advance to the second round here was four, and that occurred last year.

The hopes of a nation now rest with Mark Philippoussis, recently recovered from knee surgery and facing Britain's Greg Rusedski in Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday.

Australia's performance this year equals the nation's worst showing at any Grand Slam. Twice before at Roland Garros only one Aussie has been left to fly the flag in round two. In 1982, only Peter McNamara - coach of Philippoussis - survived the first round, going on to reach the quarterfinals. In 1976, Barry Phillips-Moore was the lone Australian in the second round.

Dent the only surviving wild card
Not only has no Australian wild card survived the first round, but overseas wild cards Paul-Henri Mathieu and Paradorn Srichaphan also lost their first round matches. Mathieu fell to Rainer Schuettler today after a five-set struggle, losing 26 61 46 61 64. Chennai finalist Srichaphan lost more easily on Monday to No. 12 seed Guillermo Canas, 61 61 64.

Of the eight wild cards that started, only American Taylor Dent remains, to face No. 31 seed Andreas Vinciguerra in his second round match on Wednesday. Home fans can at least take some comfort from knowing that he has an Australian father, 1974 Australian Open finalist Phil Dent.

Gambill's Oz Open losing streak continues
With his first round loss to Wayne Ferreira, No. 19 seed Jan-Michael Gambill extends his first round losing streak at Melbourne Park to five, having never won a match here since his debut in 1998. The American has now suffered first round exits at four of his last five Grand Slams.

In contrast, his 62 64 76 defeat of Gambill ensures that Ferreira's 100 percent first round success record here is intact. He has never lost in the opening round in 12 Australian Opens played.
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Day 1 Australia ...

Kuerten jinx continues at Australian Open
Second seed Gustavo Kuerten’s poor record at the Australian Open continued when he let slip a two-set lead to lose 36 46 75 63 63 to Frenchman Julien Boutter in the first round. Kuerten, who had not reached the third round in five previous visits to Melbourne, had on court treatment for the right hip injury that has affected him in recent months.

After the match, Kuerten visited an orthopaedic surgeon in Melbourne, and is awaiting results from the tests before planning his forthcoming schedule.

Kuerten’s defeat completed a miserable spell for the Brazilian in Australia, having also lost all three round robin matches at the Tennis Masters Cup in Sydney last November.

Defending champion Agassi makes last minute withdrawal
Two-time defending champion and No. 3 seed Andre Agassi was forced to pull out of the event on Sunday night with a right wrist injury. He was first affected by the injury in the final of the Kooyong exhibition on Saturday, where he was defeated by Pete Sampras.

Agassi’s place in the main draw was taken by lucky loser Irakli Labadze of Georgia, who will make his Grand Slam debut against Zimbabwean qualifier Byron Black on Tuesday.

1999 finalists ease through
Andre Agassi may be out, but 1999 champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov is safely through to the second round at Melbourne Park. The No. 4 seed saw off German qualifier Michael Kohlmann 63 63 62. 1999 runner-up Thomas Enqvist dropped the first set against another qualifier, Nicolas Thomann (FRA), but fought back to win 26 63 61 62.

British duo see off Aussie wild cards
Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski saw off the twin challenge of Australian wild cards Todd Larkham and Scott Draper to move into the second round. Sixth seeded Henman shrugged of a rain delay to defeat Larkham 75 62 62; but Rusedski, seeded No. 28, had to recover a break in both the first and third sets to overcome Scott Draper 76 63 75. Henman and Rusedski could meet in the third round.

Ivanisevic turns back the clock
What a difference a year makes. In 2001, ranked No. 132 (ESP), Goran Ivanisevic lost to Petr Luxa of the Czech Republic 75 16 61 on an outside court in the first qualifying round for the Australian Open. One year on, and the 2001 Wimbledon champion, now ranked No. 13, passed his first round test in Rod Laver Arena, defeating another Czech player Martin Damm 46 75 76 64.
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The women's draw for the 2002 Australian Open, which begins Monday in Melbourne:

Jennifer Capriati, United States (1), vs. Silvia Talaja, Croatia

Meilen Tu, United States, vs. Joannette Kruger, South Africa

Rita Kuti Kis, Hungary, vs. Eleni Daniilidou, Greece

Alicia Molik, Australia, vs. Tatiana Panova, Russia (29)

Rita Grande, Italy (20), vs. Qualifier

Qualifier vs. Qualifier

Qualifier vs. Yoon Jeong Cho, Korea

Qualifier vs. Iroda Tulyaganova, Uzbekistan (16)
----

Meghann Shaughnessy, United States (10), vs. Alexandra Stevenson, USA

Bryanne Stewart, Australia, vs. Jana Nejedly, Canada

Qualifier vs. Elena Bovina, Russia

Marlene Weingartner, Germany, vs. Angeles Montolio, Spain (19)

Tamarine Tanasugarn, Thailand (25), vs. Selima Sfar, Tunisia

Petra Mandula, Hungary, vs. Anca Barna, Germany

Katarina Srebotnik, Slovakia, vs. Anna Smashnova, Israel

Janet Lee, Taipei, vs. Amelie Mauresmo, France (8)
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Kim Clijsters, Belgium (5), vs. Christina Wheeler, Australia

Barbara Schwartz, Austria, vs. Qualifier

Maria Jose Martinez, Spain, vs. Cindy Watson, Australia

Emmanuelle Gagliardi, Switzerland, vs. Elena Likhovtseva, Russia (30)

Ai Sugiyama, Japan (24), vs. Rachel McQuillan, Australia

Tina Pisnik, Slovakia, vs. Marion Bartoli, France

Janette Husarova, Slovakia, vs. Lina Krasnoroutskaya, Russia

Iva Majoli, Croatia, vs. Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Spain (14)
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Elena Dementieva, Russia (11), vs. Alina Jidkova, Russia

Wynne Prakusya, Indonesia, vs. Anastasia Myskina, Russia

Saori Obata, Japan, vs. Maria Elena Camerin, Italy

Amanda Grahame, Australia, vs. Magui Serna, Spain (23)

Paola Suarez, Argentina (27), vs. Martina Muller, Germany

Zsofia Gubacsi, Hungary, vs. Nicole Pratt, Australia

Marta Marrero, Spain, vs. Adriana Gersi, Czech Republic

Anna Kournikova, Russia, vs. Justine Henin, Belgium (6)
----

Serena Williams, United States (5), vs. Conchita Martinez, Spain

Asa Carlsson, Sweden, vs. Evie Dominikovic, Australia

Martina Sucha, Slovakia, vs. Gala Leon Garcia, Spain

Mariana Diaz-Oliva, Argentina, vs. Cristina Torrens Valero, Spain (26)

Henrieta Nagyova, Slovakia (22), vs. Amy Frazier, United States

Virginia Ruano Pascual, Spain, vs. Adriana Serra-Zanetti, Italy

Irina Selyutina, Kazakstan, vs. Jennifer Hopkins, United States

Lilia Osterloh, United States, vs. Silvia Farina Elia, Italy (11)
----

Amanda Coetzer, South Africa (15), vs. Maria Oremans, The Netherlands

Qualifier vs. Rossana de los Rios, Paraguay

Nuria Llagostera, Spain, vs. Jana Kandarr, Germany

Andrea Glass, Germany, vs. Barbara Schett, Austria (17)

Anne Kremer, Luxembourg (28), vs. Denisa Chladkova, Czech Republic

Barbara Rittner, Germany, vs. Eva Bes, Spain

Qualifier vs. Samantha Stosur, Australia

Virginie Razzano, France, vs. Martina Hingis, Switzerland (3)
----

Monica Seles, United States (8), vs. Patty Schnyder, Switzerland

Cara Black, Zimbabwe, vs. Emilie Loit, France

Samantha Reeves, United States, vs. Qualifier

Aniko Kapros, Hungary, vs. Francesca Schiavone, Italy (31)

Daja Bedanova, Czech Republic (21), vs. Tatiana Poutchek, Belarus

Qualifier vs. Ana Isabel Medina Garrigues, Spain

Celine Beigbeder, France, vs. Bianka Lamade, Germany

Nathalie Dechy, France, vs. Sandrine Testud, France (9)
----

Magdalena Maleeva, Bulgaria (13), vs. Marie-Gaiane Mikaelian, Switzerland

Shinobu Asagoe, Japan, vs. Kveta Hrdlickova, Czech Republic

Mary Pierce, France, vs. Jill Craybas, United States

Seda Noorlander, the Netherlands, vs. Lisa Raymond, United States (18)

Daniela Hantuchova, Slovakia (32), vs. Maja Matevzic, Slovenia

Marissa Irvin, United States, vs. Tathiana Garbin, Italy

Kristina Brandi, United States, vs. Ludmila Cervanova, Slovakia

Qualifier vs. Venus Williams, United States (2)
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MELBOURNE, Australia -- The draw for the Australian Open has a distinctly American flavor.


Defending champion Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras were drawn Friday in the same quarter as young guns Andy Roddick and Jan-Michael Gambill, along with former U.S. Open champion Marat Safin of Russia. Current No. 1 and top seed Lleyton Hewitt is in the same half.


"That's a very tough section. The great Americans are there with Agassi and Sampras, and the future with Roddick and Gambill," said tournament director Paul McNamee. "Then there's Safin as well."


Former women's No. 1 Martina Hingis is confronted by a formidable American barrier.


The 21-year-old Swiss player has to beat No. 2 Venus Williams, the reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion, her sister Serena and then top-seeded Jennifer Capriati, the defending champion, to clinch another Grand Slam title.


Hingis, who won consecutive Australian Opens from 1997-99 and figured in the 2000 and 2001 finals, overcame both Williams sisters last year before losing to Capriati in the final. It was Capriati's first Grand Slam title.


Hingis has not won a major since her last win Down Under in 1999.


Australian and French Open champion Capriati is in the easier side of the women's draw and will open against Silvija Talaja of Croatia, with a possible quarterfinal against seventh-seeded Amelie Mauresmo of France.


Capriati should meet one of Belgian pair Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, the fourth- and sixth-seeded players, respectively, in the semifinals.


Third-seeded Hingis starts off against France's Viginie Razzano, but has a possible quarterfinal against Serena Williams and a semifinal against Venus Williams.


Venus Williams starts against a qualifier and should face little problem until a possible quarterfinal against former world No. 1 Monica Seles. Serena Williams, the fifth-seeded player, opens against Spaniard Conchita Martinez.


Hewitt, sidelined with chickenpox since the Hopman Cup, will have to beat Agassi or Sampras, the holder of 13 Grand Slam titles, just to reach the men's final.


Agassi and Sampras could meet in a quarterfinal, but first face possible fourth-round clashes against big-serving Roddick and former world No. 1 Safin.


Third-seeded Agassi plays a qualifier in the first round.


Sampras, seeded eighth this year and without a Grand Slam title since Wimbledon in 2000, takes on Finland's Jarkko Nieminen in his opener.


Hewitt, battling to recover after his illness, also must negotiate the top-heavy first half and plays tough Spaniard Alberto Martin first.


The 20-year-old Hewitt is hoping to become the first homegrown Australian Open winner since 1976. He faces a possible quarterfinal against either Roger Federer or Tommy Haas.


McNamee said Hewitt has been practicing privately at Melbourne Park in recent days.


"He's not been at full pace because that's medically the right thing to do," McNamee said. "You can't expect him to be at his absolute best in the early rounds. He'll be hoping to get through and get stronger as the tournament goes on."


Former world No.1 Marcelo Rios is in the same quarter of the draw as Hewitt.


In the bottom half, 1999 champion and fourth-seeded Yevgeny Kefelnikov of Russia faces a possible quarterfinal against fifth-seeded Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean, while second-seeded Gustavo Kuerten will open against Julien Boutter of France.


Kuerten's probable quarterfinals opponent is Briton Tim Henman, seeded sixth.


Australia's Mark Philippoussis is also in the bottom half along with Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, adding some firepower to it.


Among the tough opening women's matches, Anna Kournikova takes on Henin and Seles plays Patty Schnyder.
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