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Tennis World No.1, Roger Federer, has named former Australian great, Tony Roche, as his coach on a part-time basis. Roche, who won the French Open in 1966 and has trained Ivan Lendl and Patrick Rafter among others, will have a mainly advisory role.

Meanwhile, Federer cruised past David Ferrer and Greg Rusedski at the season-opening, ATP, one million dollar Quatar Open in Dohar, without dropping a set. His blistering form carried him into the semifinals, where he easily dismissed Ukrainian, Nikolay Davgydenko, 6-3, 6-4 to meet Ivan Ljubicic for the first major prize ahead of the Australian Open.

The Croat, too, had no answers to Federer’s power, accuracy and skill, going down 6-3, 6-1 to give the Swiss his first title in this tournament. On this showing, all signs point to a successful Australian Open defence, starting this Monday.

Elsewhere, both former Top Ten Belgian players, Kim Klijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne, have pulled out of the Australian Open next week as anticipated. Former World No. 1, Martina Hingis, romantically linked with England and Arsenal defender Sol Campbell, is attempting a comeback and current World No. 1, Lindsay Davenport, has shelved her retirement plans and will continue to face the ‘Russian revolution’ this season.