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Federer begins quest to join Budge and Laver
Pritha Sarkar
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May 28, 2007 10:21 IST
Roger Federer will begin his quest to complete his set of grand slam titles against little-known American Michael Russell in the first round of the French Open on Monday.

With rain having washed out all but seven of Sunday's 24 scheduled matches, fans visiting Roland Garros can expect a crammed programme as organisers try to clear the backlog.

Venus Williams will attempt to join sister Serena in the second round but will have to deal with a hostile reception as she takes on local hope Alize Cornet.

In-form Serbian fourth seed Jelena Jankovic, many people's tip for the crown, will also have the crowd cheering against her when she steps out for the fourth match on Centre Court against France's Stephanie Foretz.

Federer's season had looked to be unravelling as he lost four tournaments on the trot earlier this year but his victory over nemesis Rafael Nadal in the Hamburg Masters final has energised his campaign.

The world number one has never met Russell before but, with a ranking of 68 in the world, the American is unlikely to pose much of a challenge.

With the Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Australian Open trophies already in his possession, the Swiss needs to win in Paris to join Don Budge and Rod Laver as the only men to hold all four slams at the same time.

World number four Nikolay Davydenko, French favourite Richard Gasquet and Croatian seventh seed Ivan Lubicic will also feature on the second day of the claycourt major.



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