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Federer aims for third straight win at US Open

Federer is the number one seed at Flushing Meadows

(Keystone Archive)

Tennis world number one Roger Federer will seek his third consecutive victory in New York when the United States Open begins at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

Apart from Federer, five other Swiss have qualified for the event, which is the last Grand Slam tournament of the season.

After his fourth consecutive win at Wimbledon in early July, Federer is now trying to match the achievement of only two players before him – John McEnroe (1979, 1980 and 1981) and Ivan Lendl (1985, 1986 and 1987).

For the Basel player, who beats records one after another, the task is not insurmountable.

The draw for the event has been kind, with Federer due to begin the defence of his US title against Wang Yeu-Tzuoo of Taiwan and little opposition is expected before the quarter finals.

If the seedings go to plan, Federer is scheduled to meet American James Blake, the world number five, at that stage of the competition.

Another Swiss who has automatically qualified for the men's event in the 125th US Open is Stanislas Wawrinka, who has not been given an easy draw.

Winner of his first tournament on the professional circuit in July in Croatia, Wawrinka from canton Vaud comes up against the formidable Argentine player, Juan Ignacio Chela, in the first round. The two have never done battle together before.

Swiss women hopes

In the women's event, Swiss hopes are pinned on the shoulders of Patty Schnyder and Martina Hingis. The two have been drawn in the first round against Israel's Anna Smashnova and China's Shuai Peng respectively.

Schnyder, who is likely to come up against Belgian favourite Justine Henin-Hardenne in the quarter-final stage, could well cause an upset after she reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

Hingis, who won in New York in 1997, is returning to the Flushing Meadows courts for the first time since she left competitive tennis in 2002.

She will be aiming for her sixth Grand Slam victory after winning the Australian Open in 1999. But her lack of power against the top favourites could once again weigh against her chances.

Swiss who enter the main event after having to play qualifying matches are George Bastl and Marco Chiudinelli.

But Stéphane Bohli, Michael Lammer and Emmanuelle Gagliardi couldn't manage to pass the qualifying hurdle.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Roger Federer has been number one in the ATP rankings since February 2, 2004.
He has 40 tournament victories under his belt, including eight Grand Slams.
He won the Australian Open in 2004 and 2006, Wimbledon in 2003-2006 and the US Open in 2004 and 2005.

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In brief

Roger Federer is defending his US Open title at Flushing Meadows. Last September he won the last of the four Grand Slam titles of the year by beating US player Andre Agassi in four sets (6-3, 2-6, 7-6 and 6-1).

This year there are six Swiss playing in the US tournament proper: Roger Federer, Stanislas Wawrinka, George Bastl and Marco Chiudinelli in the men's event, with Patty Schnyder and Martina Hingis in the women's.

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Winners of the US Open

Mens' event: 1995 Pete Sampras, 1996 Pete Sampras, 1997 Patrick Rafter, 1998 Patrick Rafter, 1999 Andre Agassi, 2000 Marat Safin, 2001 Lleyton Hewitt, 2002 Pete Sampras, 2003 Andy Rodick, 2004 Roger Federer, 2005 Roger Federer.

Women's event: 1995 Steffi Graf, 1996 Steffi Graf, 1997 Martina Hingis, 1998 Lindsay Davenport, 2001 Venus Williams, 2002 Serena Williams, 2003 Justine Henin-Hardenne, 2004 Svetlana Kuznetsova, 2005 Kim Clijsters.

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