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Federer probably faces his stiffest test of the first week in the second round against Gilles Simon.
Simon, who reached the quarters here two years ago, is 2-0 against the world’s No. 2 player, with both matches coming on hard courts in 2008.
The good news for Federer is that Simon is not the player he was three years ago—although he looked pretty good at the Sydney tune-up—and Federer is a completely different player in Grand Slams.
He hasn’t missed the third round at a major since ’03 and the four-time and defending Australian Open champ is 11-0 in the second round at this event.
I see Xavier Malisse upsetting No. 25 seed Albert Montanes, so Federer should have no problem in the third round beating Malisse for the eighth straight time.
I predict Tommy Robredo gets past No. 16 seed Mardy Fish to reach the Round of 16, where Federer will move to 10-0 against Robredo.