Federer set for first appearance at Japan Open | india | Hindustan Times
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Federer set for first appearance at Japan Open

india Updated: Oct 02, 2006 12:05 IST

World No. 1 Roger Federer is the overwhelming favorite at the Japan Open but isn't looking beyond his first match.

Federer, making his first appearance in Japan, won't play until Wednesday and isn't even sure who he'll face in his first game of the US$940,000 (euro742,000) tournament.

"I haven't seen the draw yet," Federer said on Monday. "But I play every tournament to win and will try to produce the best tennis for the Japanese fans."

Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus was the tournament's second seeded player but pulled out because of a shoulder injury he suffered in practice at the Thailand Open last week.

Federer will either play Spain's Fernando Vincente or a qualifier in the second round on Wednesday.

On Monday, Federer took part in a practice session that was open to fans.

"I've never seen anything like that before," said Federer, who played against Japan's Satoshi Iwabuchi. "They even had ball boys and I think it's a great idea."

Federer, winner of this year's US Open and Wimbledon championships, said he has no trouble getting motivated for smaller tournaments like the Japan Open.

"Motivation is never a problem," said Federer. "I have fans all over the world and when you come to a place for the first time you always want to play your best and hopefully win the tournament."

Other players in the tournament include Britain's Andy Murray, Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan and defending champion Wesley Moodie of South Africa.

Federer is also scheduled to play in the Masters Cup in Shanghai in November and said Monday that he enjoys promoting tennis in Asia. "There is huge potential and huge excitement in Asia," said Federer.

"I think it's great they have the Masters Cup in Shanghai. Asia is a great place to play and I like to come here at least once a year."