- Title: AUSTRALIA: TENNIS - Tennis stars meet before Australian Open
- Date: 18th January 2011
- Summary: MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 16, 2011) (REUTERS) (*** FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY ***) WORLD NUMBER ONE RAFAEL NADAL AT AUSTRALIAN OPEN PLAYERS PARTY (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER ONE RAFAEL NADAL SAYING: "Always is great to be back in Melbourne. I love the city and I love the people here. So for me (indistinct) NADAL (SOUNDBITE) (English) RAFAEL NADAL SAYING OF POSSIBILITY OT WINNING GRAND SLAM: "No you know I'm here to try my best. That's very far off. Right now I start first round on Tuesday so will be really difficult every match" NADAL (SOUNDBITE) (English) NADAL SAYING: "The draw? The draw is always the same, no? If you are playing really well you want to have better draw. You are playing bad all the draws are terrible" FORMER WOMEN'S WORLD NUMBER ONE MARIA SHARAPOVA MEN'S WORLD NUMBER FOUR ROBIN SODERLING WITH GIRLFRIEND AUSTRALIAN OPEN MEN'S 27TH SEED DAVID NALBANDIAN 10 (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN OPEN MEN'S 27TH SEED DAVID NALBANDIAN SAYING: "Nice tournament. I missed it last year, but I'm happy to be back again here in Melbourne" 11 NALBANDIAN 12 (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID NALBANDIAN SAYING: "Overseas in Argentina we practiced a lot. Last week we played in Auckland, I do finals so good week, give me some confidence and I'll think I will be ready" FORMER AUSTRALIAN TENNIS STAR KEN ROSEWALL (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER AUSTRALIAN TENNIS STAR KEN ROSEWALL SAYING: "Oh well I suppose if I was to put some money, either Nadal or Federer and I'll make a choice on Roger because I think he's pretty fit and very keen to win so get a good run for my money" KEN ROSEWALL (SOUNDBITE) (English) KEN ROSEWALL SAYING: "Well in the ladies, I think Kim Clijsters would be playing well. She lost in the final in Sydney, but I think she's confident and I think I would get a good run for my money with Kim as well" WOMEN'S WORLD NUMBER 17 MARION BARTOLI LOOKING AT BOLLYWOOD-THEMED JEWELLERY (SOUNDBITE) (English) WOMEN'S WORLD NUMBER 17 MARION BARTOLI SAYING: "No I want to first focus on my first match and then I'll see what the second comes up with. You know a name on the draw is just a name. You play against her you (indistinct) so doesn't really matter who my opponent is"
- Embargoed: 2nd February 2011 12:00
- Location: Australia, Australia
- Country: Australia
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAEEJ6QIGJJ9DRF3KSPHGH4C33J
- Story Text: Some of the stars of the Australian Open gathered in Melbourne on Sunday (January 16), the eve of the tournament.
World number one Rafael Nadal said it was always great to be back in the coty and he was not thinking about winning a grand slam, just focussing on his first match on Tuesday.
The 27th seed, David Nalbandian of Argentina, missed last year's event, but said he had been practising a lot lately and last week played in Auckland which gave him some confidence.
Australian veteran Ken Rosewall favoured Roger Federer for the men's title "because I think he's pretty fit and very keen to win" and Kim Clijsters in the women's contest.
Women's world number 17 Marion Bartoli said she was focussing on her first match.
Monday's order of play on the showcourts on the first day of the Australian Open tennis (prefix denotes seeding, times GMT):
Rod Laver Arena - play starts at 2400:
Tamarine Tanasugarn (Thailand) v 14-Maria Sharapova (Russia)
1-Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) v Gisela Dulko (Argentina)
Lukas Lacko (Slovakia) v 2-Roger Federer (Switzerland)
21-Yanina Wickmayer (Belgium) v Jarmila Groth (Australia)
Marcel Granollers (Spain) v 3-Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
Hisense Arena - play starts at 2400:
Thiemo de Bakker (Netherlands) v 12-Gael Monfils (France)
8-Andy Roddick (U.S.) v Jan Hajek (Czech Republic)
4-Venus Williams (U.S.) v Sara Errani (Italy)
11-Justine Henin (Belgium) v Qualifier
Margaret Court Arena - play starts at 2400
Arantxa Parra Santonja (Spain) v 6-Francesca Schiavone (Italy)
28-Daniela Hantuchova (Slovakia) v Regina Kulikova (Russia)
Zuzana Ondraskova (Czech Republic) v Jelena Dokic (Australia)
Peter Luczak (Australia)v 17-Ivan Ljubicic (Croatia)
Rainer Schuettler (Germany) v 9-Fernando Verdasco (Spain)
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