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Rediff.com  » Sports » Federer opens bid for Masters hat-trick against Simon

Federer opens bid for Masters hat-trick against Simon

November 05, 2008 16:20 IST

Roger Federer will open his bid for a third successive Masters Cup title, and a fifth in all, against Gilles Simon after being grouped with the Frenchman in Wednesday's draw for the $4.45 million (2.8 million pounds) tournament.

The Swiss is top seed in the absence of Spain's world number one Rafael Nadal, whose withdrawal through injury allowed Simon to take his place in the season-ending event for the top eight men in the world.

In-form world number four Andy Murray and American Andy Roddick complete the Red Group, from which the top two players advance to the semi-finals after the round robin stage.

Serbia's world number three Novak Djokovic heads the Gold Group, which also includes Russian Nikolay Davydenko, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro.

The tournament starts on the hard court of the Qi Zhong arena Sunday, with the final -- to be contested over three sets rather than five -- on November 16.

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