Federer poised for fairytale of New York

Federer poised for fairytale of New York
Roger Federer meets the press at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Saturday in New York City. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images/AFP
The tennis legend hopes to mark the tenth anniversary of his first US Open title with a sixth triumph in New York and become the oldest Grand Slam champion in more than 40 years.

In an astonishing reversal of fortunes, the 33-year-old, written off as a relic of the game when he slipped to a fourth round loss to Tommy Robredo 12 months ago, finds himself perfectly positioned to win a staggering 18th major.

Buoyed by claiming a sixth Cincinnati title — his 80th career crown — and with long-time rival Rafael Nadal again sidelined with injury, the Swiss is relishing the twilight of his career.

His last-16 loss to Robredo in 2013 in New York meant it was the first year since 2002 that he had failed to make a Grand Slam final. The defeat also marked the first time in 10 years that he hadn't made at least the last-eight at Flushing Meadows.

Suddenly, his five consecutive US Open titles from 2004-2008 appeared a detail in history and his 17th and most recent major success — the 2012 Wimbledon title — looked certain to be his last.

But the Swiss never doubted his ability to remain a force in the sport and he goes into his 15th US Open with his unwavering confidence justified.

There were hints of a revival at Wimbledon in July where he was defeated in five sets by world number one Novak Djokovic.

Since then, he has been runner-up at Toronto and champion in Cincinnati and the problems of 2013, when he was hampered by a back injury, are now distant

"I was scared to have another setback, and so it was just not as clear-cut and simple as it is this year," said second-seeded Federer, who faces Australia's Marinko Matosevic in the first round of what will be his 64th consecutive Grand Slam.

"This year I played a lot of good matches. Not just Toronto and Cincinnati, but really from the first week on I have always played really nice tennis.

"You almost forget how to lose to a point and confidence rises. You're back to winning ways again and everything seems so simple. I'm looking forward to this tournament, because I really feel like I can play a great tournament. I hope I can show that on the court this year."

Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.