31 Aug 2009

Federer and Serena begin title defence in New York

8:04 am on 31 August 2009

Roger Federer and Serena Williams will begin the defence of their US Open titles in New York tonight, while Kim Clijsters returns to grand slam tennis for the first time in two years.

World number one Federer, chasing a modern-day record sixth straight title at Flushing Meadows, plays American wild card Devin Britton in the first round, in his first grand-slam event since the birth of his twin daughters last month.

The Swiss is hoping to equal the mark set by American Bill Tilden in the 1920s by adding the US Open to the French and Wimbledon titles he won earlier this year, as well as extend his record of grand slam wins to 16.

Women's champion Serena Williams, seeded second, plays fellow American Alexa Glatch in the first round as she bids to equal Billie-Jean King's mark of a 12th grand slam title.

The tournament begins with the return of Clijsters, the Belgian former world number one facing Viktoriya Kutuzova of Ukraine.