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Federer targets Wimbledon record
The world number one aims to equal Bjorn Borg's five-in-a-row at Wimbledon.
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2007 07:40 GMT

If Federer is celebrating on centre court on July 8, he will have equalled Borg's five titles in a row [EPA]

World number one Roger Federer will have Bjorn Borg's record of five successive Wimbledon titles in his sights when he starts the defence of his All England Club crown at Wimbledon on Monday.
After once again losing in the final of the French Open at Roland Garros earlier this month, Federer returns to the grass court grand slam where he has dominated for the past four years.

A win in the final on July 8 for the Swiss player will see him equal Borg's  five-in-a-row from 1976-1980, and also place him just two title's short of Pete Sampras' record of seven Wimbledon crowns.

The 25-year-old is also well on the way to eclipsing Sampras' overall record of 14 majors as he currently sits on 10 with an 11th at the All England Club seemingly a formality.

Despite Rafael Nadal again shattering his hopes of becoming just the third man in history to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time, Federer insists his loss in the Paris final will have no bearing on his Wimbledon campaign.

"It's always easy to forget the clay season because there was so much talk about it," Federer said.

"Once you get on the grass, great. Everything is in the past."

A very cool guy

Borg is getting used to seeing his records matched, after Nadal recently equalled his three consecutive French Opens at Roland Garros.

"I have always seen an awful lot of myself in Roger, the way he approaches the game, the way he carries himself," said Borg.

"He doesn't always let everything show on the surface, all of the emotion, but he cares about it strongly underneath.

"Off court he is very relaxed. He's a very cool guy."

Federer begins his 2007 Wimbledon campaign against little known Teimuraz Gabashvili from Russia on Monday, but could face a difficult encounter in the third round against former world number one Marat Safin.

Nadal looks to go one better

Rafael Nadal wants to be holding the cup, not
the plate, at the end of the tournament [EPA]

Rafael Nadal, world number-two and finalist at Wimbledon last year, is the obvious main threat to Federer, however no Spaniard has won the men's title since Manuel Santana in 1966.

"Playing a final again is very difficult," said Nadal of his chances.
"You're talking about a surface that is not my favourite.

"But I want to do my best, and if I don't succeed, I'll go back home happy, because I've done what I could."

Nadal faces a tough early test against experienced American Mardy Fish who has a good track record on grass.

Other contenders

Meanwhile Andy Roddick, twice a Wimbledon runner-up to Federer, comes into the tournament on the back of a fourth Queen's Club title, and has what he hopes will be the advantage of having 1974 and 1982 champion Jimmy Connors in his corner.

"Jimmy's emphasis is: 'You're tough to beat on grass. Go put your best foot forward. You don't have to overplay'," said Roddick who starts against compatriot Justin Gimelstob.

Apart from Federer, Australia's Lleyton Hewitt is the only man in the men's draw who has lifted the coveted Wimbledon cup and cover, and has made at least the quarter-finals in the last three years.

Serbian 20-year-old Novak Djokovic is seen by many as a potential Grand Slam champion-in-waiting, and has enlisted the help of Australia's Mark Woodforde, who won six Wimbledon doubles titles, to sharpen his serve-and-volley game.

The Wimbledon championship begins on Monday June 25, with the men's final to be played on Sunday July 8.

Source:
Agencies
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