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Federer eyes more history
Federer eyes more history

Roger Federer is eyeing yet more tennis history as Novak Djokovic seeks redemption and Andy Murray chases elusive grand slam glory at the US Open starting on Monday.

With continuing knee troubles sidelining Rafael Nadal, the final major of the year shapes as a race in three for men's honours.

As ever, Federer and Djokovic - with 22 slams between them - lead the way.

The tennis history book has become Federer's personal diary over the years and he can pen another chapter as the first man ever to win six or more titles at two different grand slam events.

Champion in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, Federer returns as top seed for the first time in three years after crowning his Indian summer with a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon triumph.

Had he not thrown away a big lead in the 2009 final against Juan Martin del Potro and wasted multiple match points in back-to-back semi-final losses to Djokovic in 2010 and 2011, Federer may well have been gunning for a ninth straight Open title.

No matter, he will settle for a sixth - and 18th slam in total - if he can once again reign in New York.

The 31-year-old backed up his Wimbledon victory with a record fifth Cincinnati Masters title last week, downing Djokovic in the final, and says his loss to the Serb and 2011 Wimbledon quarter-final defeat against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga from two sets up sparked his spectacular revival.

Since falling to Djokovic at Flushing Meadows last year, Federer has racked up nine titles and won 73 from 80 matches.

"It's not only last year's match that made me get back to world No.1,"Federer said ahead of his first-round Open clash on Monday with American Donald Young.

"There's been a lot of sacrifices before this match here. Remember I also had a tough loss at Wimbledon. That also shook things up a little bit.

"And then when it happened a second time around after being up two sets to love, I took a bit of a break after going to Sydney for Davis Cup the following week after here.

"I took some time to assess the situation and how should I move forward and then of course it was great to start off with a win in Basel last year in my home town.

"Then the rest we know. So it's been a great last 12 months. I was able to stay injury-free."

Since his return to the top of the rankings, Federer has surpassed Pete Sampras as the longest-serving world No.1 in history, his three reigns now totalling 292 weeks.

"I always did believe that if things turned for the better for me, I was always going to be very near to world No.1.

"I wasn't far off, but I couldn't plan on Novak going on a 40-match winning streak (last year) or Rafa going for almost four grand slams in a row as well."

Murray, who avenged his Wimbledon final loss to Federer with victory over the great Swiss in the Olympic final, is seeded to confront the world No.1 again, but in the semi-finals in New York.

The Scot also opens his title bid on Monday, against American Alex Bogomolov Jr, and says his Olympic experience has fuelled his belief that he's finally ready to land a grand slam title after losing four finals - three to Federer.

Djokovic, who was shattered after falling to Federer in the Wimbledon semi-finals and then failing to win a medal at the London Games, plays his first-round match against Italian Paolo Lorenzi on Tuesday.