Safin to throw caution to the wind against Federer

The last time the pair met at Melbourne Park in 2005, the 1.

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93m tall Safin saved a match point and triumphed 9-7 in the fifth set of their semi-final before going on to claim his second grand slam title.

Since then the Russian former world number one has suffered from debilitating knee injuries and has slipped down the rankings.

Federer, however, has won nine grand slam titles over the past four years to take his total tally to 13 and now stands just one major away from equalling Pete Sampras\’s record of 14.

“His life has changed (and it) didn\’t (go) too bad. He won a couple of grand slams afterwards, and me, I got injured,” Safin said of their contrasting fortunes.

“I had to recover from the injuries, so we went in different ways. He got much more confident throughout the years and I had to recover from injury.

“I want to be in his shoes.”

\’Nothing to lose\’

When fit and healthy, Safin is considered to possess a game capable of matching the mercurial Swiss and the Russian will be aiming to narrow his losing 9-2 head-to-head record against Federer on Friday.

“Unfortunately I (have not) won a lot of matches against him, but I\’m looking forward. It\’s another chance,” said Safin who also lost to Federer in the 2004 Australian Open final.

“I have nothing to lose. I\’m going to go for it. Whatever comes, comes.”

The Safin family have been given the honour of opening and closing the day\’s action on Rod Laver Arena.

Dinara Safina will continue her bid to try and step out of big brother Marat\’s shadow when she takes on Estonia\’s 25th seed Kaia Kanepi in the first match (midnight British time).

“I\’m not (known as) Marat\’s sister anymore,” she said with a grin on her move up the women\’s rankings.

“Before, really, I was known as Marat\’s sister, nothing else. I had some success, but I cannot compare to what I have now.”

Women\’s top seed Jelena Jankovic is also in action on Rod Laver Arena, against Japan\’s Ai Sugiyama after men\’s champion, and Serbian compatriot, Novak Djokovic plays Amer Delic of the United States.