Federer focused on US glory to cap ‘most amazing year’

ROGER FEDERER will go into next week’s US Open convinced he can continue what he called “the most amazing year” of his life.

The defending champion from Switzerland avoided arch rival and third seed Rafael Nadal in the main draw for the men’s singles yesterday, Spain’s Nadal having been drawn in the same half as Britain’s Andy Murray, the second seed.

Federer will bid for a sixth consecutive US Open title starting next Monday, looking to cap a year in which he became a father for the first time, to twin girls five weeks ago, regained his world number one ranking from Nadal, completed a career Grand Slam by winning a first French Open and then won Wimbledon to move past Pete Sampras with a record 15th Grand Slam victory.

He also proved he was still in peak form by brushing aside Murray and Novak Djokovic en route to the Cincinnati Masters title last weekend and Federer, 28, said he had no plans to let up.

“If I look back at which is the most amazing year of my life this is definitely it,” Federer said before the draw ceremony in Manhattan.

“I have a wife, we’ve been together now nine years and we’re very proud parents now, two sweet girls and also with the success on court I couldn’t have planned it better.

“Winning my first French Open championship, and then getting the 15th (grand slam) at Wimbledon the way I did against (Andy) Roddick in the final, it was an amazing summer and I’m still playing very well.

“I played great in Cincinnati and I hope things are also going to go well here at the US Open.”

Federer spoke with pride at the way he returned to form in 2009 having surrendered his Wimbledon title to Nadal during a problematic 2008.

“I had some issues last year, with illness at the start of the year and then my back prevented from playing at my very best at the end of last year and the beginning of this year.

“But still, I hung in there and in the end success came back.”

Meanwhile defending champion Serena Williams could have to get past sister Venus Williams if she is to reach the US Open final and win a 12th Grand Slam title.

The three-time US Open champion, seeded second behind Dinara Safina for the final grand slam of the year starting Monday, is in the same half of the draw as her third-seeded sister, putting them on course for a semi-final clash. The siblings contested the Wimbledon final in July, Serena winning in straight sets to claim her second Grand Slam this year after the Australian Open in January.

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