At the Australian Open today
In 2000, Marat Safin shockingly became the guy who ended Pete Sampras's streak of winning every final he appeared in at eight. In doing so, Safin was expected to do big things. Instead, he's reached only one major final since. Injuries and loss of focus on court have kept him from doing more.
The last time Safin met Andy Roddick was in 2001 in Los Angeles. Safin won in straight sets, however, Roddick is hardly the same player. Now, the No. 1 player in the world, Roddick has not dropped a set at the Aussie Open and has only lost serve twice.
He made history last year with a marathon match, reaching the semifinals suffering an injury that kept him from advancing. After a breakthrough second half of the year, which saw him win the U.S. Open, Roddick is hoping to win a second consecutive Grand Slam title.
Since that match last year, Henin-Hardenne won the French Open and U.S. Open and finished the year as the No. 1 player. Known for an incredible backhand, she's worked on improving her forehand, too. So far this season, she's dropped only one set and it wasn't in Melbourne.
Cynthia Faulkner is the tennis editor for ESPN.com.
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