Rejuvenated Federer eager for US Open test

A five-time champion at the US Open, Roger Federer is anticipating a resurgent performance at the year’s final major. Coming off a strong summer hard court debut in Cincinnati, which saw him push rival Rafael Nadal to the brink in the quarter-finals, Federer is eager to re-energise his season.

“Clearly when I come here I don't just look at trying to make quarters,” Federer said. “I'm here trying to win the tournament, but it starts at the very beginning and that is Monday I'm playing, I heard, so that's really where the focus is right now.”

The 17-time Grand Slam champion will be seeking just his second tour-level title of the year, having won in Halle, and first on hard courts since claiming his fifth Cincinnati title exactly a year ago. Federer holds the most hard court titles in the Open Era, having amassed 52 in his career.

The Swiss, who will tie Wayne Ferreira for the most consecutive Grand Slams played (56), is not fazed by his recent struggles. “It's important that I concentrate on my game and that the passion is there, that I work the right way, that I'm prepared, and then that I feel like I can win a tournament,” Federer said. “I clearly want to move up from here. I only have the quarters to defend, so I hope I can add some points to the rankings.”

Federer is also just one match win at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center from tying John McEnroe for eighth place on the all-time list. He added that he actually feels better now, physically, than he did earlier in his career, despite his recent back ailment. “When I was younger I had incredible muscle pain, like I could hardly get out of bed or all of a sudden the back was really bothering me for a day or two. Then all of a sudden it disappeared the way it came, just really quick…I think it's actually more comfortable today with the body than it has been in the past, to be honest.”

Federer will open his US Open campaign against Slovenian World No. 61 Grega Zemlja on Monday, under the lights on Arthur Ashe Stadium. He is 2-0 against Zemlja, including a 6-3, 6-1 victory in Rotterdam earlier this year. Federer could potentially face 11th seed Kei Nishikori in the Round of 16 and is on a collision course for a rematch with Nadal in the quarter-finals.

Date: 25th August 2013, Source: ATP


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