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Federer's sparring partner makes French Open debut
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May 27, 2007 10:05 IST

There are two reasons why teenager Jonathan Eysseric might make the world take notice at the French Open starting on Sunday.

The young Frenchman, who will turn 17 on the first day of the Paris Grand Slam tournament, is the world number one junior player and he is Roger Federer's training partner.

Federer picked Eysseric because he is a left-hander, like world number two Rafael Nadal, and has a power-based game similar to the Spaniard's.

Nadal, who has won in Paris for the last two years, is the main threat for Federer in the world number one's bid to capture the only Grand Slam title to elude him.

"To have played with Roger on centre court for days takes some of the pressure off," said Eysseric. "I couldn't have dreamed of a better warm-up."

Eysseric said he felt relaxed ahead of his first French Open.

"I want to have fun here and I will do my best to go as far as possible," he said. "Maybe I will feel some pressure when I play my first match but for the moment, no."

Eysseric started training with Federer in Switzerland earlier this month.

"My game has certainly improved after working with him," Eysseric said. "Roger also taught me a few things off the court. What he wanted me to do was to play as much as possible like Nadal."

Eysseric will meet fellow Frenchman Olivier Patience in the first round. If he wants to meet Federer, he will have to reach the final and beat Nadal along the way.

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