‘Fresh’ Federer eyeing sixth Flushing Meadows triumph

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
roger federer
(Photo: Marianne Bevis)

roger federer

Five-time champion Roger Federer has warned his US Open rivals he is feeling “fresh” as he prepares to fight for a 17th Grand Slam title in New York.

The world No2 sealed only his second title of the year in Cincinnati this month, but the Swiss maestro insists a six-week break after Wimbledon has given him some much-needed rest ahead of the year’s final major.

“Mentally I’m very fresh,” said Federer, who lost his No1 ranking to Rafael Nadal earlier this year. “I didn’t play for six weeks after Wimbledon, I had a good vacation, spent some time in Switzerland with friends and family. From the mental side I have no problems whatsoever.

“Physically I feel the same thing. I feel as good as I can feel prior to a Grand Slam. I have no niggling injuries, no pain anywhere.

Federer was beaten by Andy Murray in the final of the Rogers Cup in Toronto, but the 27-year-old claims he was still in the process finding his form after his lengthy break – and maintains he is now “ready to go” in New York.

“In Toronto I really had a lot of muscle pain, my arm, my wrist, my chest, my shoulder. Coming back right off the bat after six weeks and playing such tough matches early on was tough on the body.
“I’ve had good preparation and am ready to go.”

“You can’t win 12 tournaments every season. That’s clear to me. I spoiled myself by playing so well and you just prepare for the times when it’s not winning 12 a season.

“If it’s two or four or six it’s still a good season depending on how you’re feeling, how you’re evolving as a player. I was always making sure I tried to get better.

“I also had some problems. I had mono (glandular fever), I’ve had a lung infection, I’ve had a bad back. It’s all been on a lower level but maybe at times I should have just taken a rest instead of playing.

“But I’m not scared of taking losses. I wanted to know where I stand and the only place I could find out is at tournaments. Hopefully I’m not losing in the first or second round and if people think ‘Oh, he’s not the same,’ well that’s not something new because I knew I was not the same player for a few events.

“But it gets over-rated sometimes. Then I stop reading the press when it becomes that kind of an atmosphere.”

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