Another season, another potential record for Roger Federer.

But this one is a bit different. The celebrated Swiss star doesn’t actually need to win a match, he just needs to show up and play at each of the year’s four Grand Slams.

If he does, Federer will tally 56 consecutive Grand Slam singles tournaments, which would equal the record held by retired South African player Wayne Ferreira.

Federer will mark his 53rd straight when the Australian Open starts on Monday, making him not just one of the greatest players in tennis history but also one of the sport’s most enduring.

“I’m still here,” said a smiling Federer, looking relaxed and confident at a press conference on Saturday. “Longevity has always been something that’s important to me,”

The 17-time Grand Slam winner has been winning major titles since 2003 and said he was once a ball boy for Ferreira who retired in 2005.

“I’m excited that I’ve played so many in a row, and I hope I can keep the streak alive and see where it stops. We’ll see how it goes.”

For the moment, more immediate records beckon.

At age 31, Federer is in pursuit of his 18th Grand Slam title. If he wins in Melbourne that would make him the only man aside from Andre Agassi to have won five Australian Open trophies since the Open Era started in 1968.

Until his Wimbledon win, Federer had been widely viewed as a champion in decline, eclipsed by Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. But his win returned him to the top the ATP rankings for the first time since June 2010, matching Pete Sampras’ record of 286 weeks at No. 1.

Mindful of his place in history and his aging body, Federer has scaled back his schedule. He arrives in Melbourne more rested than usual after having taken several weeks off from tennis and public appearances.

“It’s been very relaxing.” said Federer, who is now ranked No. 2 and faces Benoit Paire of France in the first round. “I purposely didn’t play any lead-up tournament so that I’d be fresh for the beginning, hopefully going deep into (this) tournament. That’s the goal obviously.”

Injury has hobbled Nadal, who was sidelined since June with tendinitis in his left knee and is not competing in Melbourne.

Federer’s biggest obstacles remain top-ranked Djokovic, who is aiming for a third consecutive Australian Open title, and No. 3 Andy Murray, who is on a roll after his breakthrough win at the London Olympics followed by his first major title at the US Open.

Murray landed in the same half of the draw as Federer, meaning they could potentially meet in the semifinals. The winner of that match could face a final against Djokovic a matchup that Murray knows well.

“They’re incredibly tough, physical matches,” said Murray. “We played quite a few good ones last year in some of the biggest events.”

“If I get to play Novak here that would mean it would be in the final. So obviously that’s what I would like to do,” Murray said.

Djokovic had kind words for Murray’s accomplishments.

“He has become a Grand Slam and Olympic champion. It’s something not many players in history have done,” Djokovic said. “He’s great. I think mentally something switched in his head and he just started believing much more in his abilities.”

Djokovic begins his title defence with a first round match against Paul-Henri Mathieu, while Murray faces Robin Hasse.

This article has been corrected for a factual error.

More In: Tennis | Sport