At the Australian Open today
Until Andy Roddick came along, Greg Rusedski held the record for the fastest serve in the ATP. Rusedski won their first meeting at Wimbledon in 2002, but since then it's been all Roddick.
"He took me apart pretty good in '02 at Wimbledon," Roddick said after the first round. "But that was a long time ago, and I've gotten him three times since then."
"I think the win at Wimbledon was definitely one of my best matches I've ever played at Wimbledon," said Rusedski, who says he's returned this year to the same level of fitness he had in 2002. "So that was very memorable. Then I played him the following year and lost my mind a little bit and, you know, had a memorable match there. So we've had two great matches at Wimbledon, at major championships."
They'll play their third match at a major tonight.
"It will be great to play him on a different surface at the Australian Open," Rusedski said after defeating Jonas Bjorkman 2-6, 6-4, 6-0, 7-6 (7). "I very much look forward to it. I think mentally I'm stronger now than I've been ever been. I think today's match kind of proved it with the tiebreaker and just coming back and just staying at one keel all the way through. I'll be looking forward to it.
"But he's tough. You know, like I said, it's a tricky match. And I'll definitely have to, you know, try to pick it up a little bit."
Rusedski is a lefty, but Roddick got a little match play with another one in the first round as he defeated Irakli Labadze. Roddick has reached the quarterfinals or better in his past seven majors. Rusedski respects Roddick and the skill he showed at Wimbledon 2004 against Roger Federer.
"I think out of all the Grand Slam finals, I think he had a chance there until the rain came and Roger changed his strategy. I think he played very, very well that year. And had the rain not come, who knows, it could have been different.
"I'm just going to have to make solid returns. I can't just bunt the ball back because he'll just run around and hit the big forehand and dictate play, so I'm going to have to take some risks."
Potential show stoppers
This time, Blake is just happy for the chance to play Hewitt after a successful first round against Florian Mayer 6-1, 6-2, 6-0. Hewitt has put on muscle in the past year and has his eyes on winning his home title.
"I feel good now," Nadal said after defeating Jerome Haehnel of France 6-2, 6-2, 7-5.
In the second round, Nadal plays Russian Mikhail Youzhny, who finished 2004 in the top 20 for the first time. Nadal defeated Youzney in straight sets two weeks ago in Doha.
Cynthia Faulkner is the tennis editor for ESPN.com.
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