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Federer starts second week as favourite

ROGER Federer will wake up for today's fourth-round match against Tommy Haas still getting used to the idea that he is now the favourite to win a maiden French Open title after el Nadal's shock exit.

The shape of the draw has changed dramatically with Nadal and Novak Djokovic out of the picture, presenting the Swiss with his best chance to finally pick up the only grand slam title to have eluded him. "I believe Federer, as the tournament turns out today, is the favourite, and he has a good opportunity to win this tournament," beaten Spanish eighth seed Fernando Verdasco said.

Federer, seeking a record-equalling 14th grand slam title, has an 8-2 winning record against the 31-year-old German, who is aiming to reach his first Paris quarter-final.

Opening up on Centre Court will be women's second seed Serena Williams, who caused a commotion in the previous round when she accused her opponent of cheating. The 10-times grand slam winner takes on Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak, who is appearing in the fourth round of a major for the first time.

"Serena, she's a really tough player. She's very strong physically and she's tough. So I'll be tough, too, and I'll stay aggressive," the 24th seed said. "I have to rise up my game higher. Just really go for my shots."

Djokovic's conqueror Philipp Kohlschreiber meets Spain's Tommy Robredo knowing he has never beaten his opponent in three previous meetings, two of which were on clay.

Russian seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, one of the in-form players at the tournament, faces her stiffest test yet against 12th seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.

Sixth seed Andy Roddick, enjoying his best ever showing in Paris, meets French 11th seed Gael Monfils.

Their match on Court Suzanne Lenglen is preceeded by what should be a straightforward outing for fifth seed Jelena Jankovic against Romanian Sorana Cirstea.

The day's other matches should keep the home crowd entertained as French ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga plays Argentine fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro and Tsonga's compatriot Virginie Razzano takes on Australian Samantha Stosur.


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