Safin hopes to capture Aussie Slam

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:48 IST

Russia's Marat Safin said that world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt could be pacing himself ahead of the Australian Open and that Hewitt's early season losses are not an

Safin hopes to capture Aussie Slam

Sydney: Russia's Marat Safin said today that world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt could be pacing himself ahead of the Australian Open and that Hewitt's early season losses are not an indicator of his real form.Safin, the world No. 3, is one of a batch of hopefuls looking to overtake Hewitt's top ranking in 2003.Hewitt lost his final two matches - to Jiri Novak and James Blake - at last week's Hopman Cup in Perth that marked his last tournament before heading to Melbourne Park for the start of the Australian Open on January 13.Safin said it was dangerous to peak too early and that Hewitt was better off gradually building up to his best."You can't play great tennis for four or five weeks because you're getting tired," Safin said. "It's better to start slowly and win a couple of matches. If you are able to win the tournament, that's great, but you have to prepare yourself as well as you can for the big one".Safin has reunited with former coach Denis Golovanov and is bidding to go one better than his runner-up effort at last year's Australian Open.He is the top seed at this week's Sydney International, where he meets a quality field containing six of the world's top 10 men. (AP)

Topics : Tennis
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