New York, Aug 30 (DPA) Even with the birth of twins a month ago and pressure for a sixth straight title at the US Open, Roger Federer insisted that this is one of his calmest periods in the long tennis year.
“It’s always a bit of a more relaxed part of the season, because I’ve come off five weeks of being at home, whereas prior to Wimbledon, French Open, it’s a very busy time, I feel like, through Europe with the clay,” the 15-time Grand Slam champion said here Saturday.
“I’ve won already two Slams this year. That takes away pressure from maybe having to do well here. It’s not like the feeling I had last year, not having won a Slam in 2008 and trying to get the first one. This year is different. I feel like I’m playing great. That gives me, obviously, a lot of confidence and relaxes my mind.”
That kind of talk only backs up the Swiss superstar’s achievements over the last fortnight since his return to tennis following his Wimbledon title over Andy Roddick and the July 23 birth of his two daughters.
While losing in the Montreal quarter-finals, Federer schooled new world number two Andy Murray a week ago for a third Cincinnati trophy.
After not having lost at the venue since 2003 against David Nalbandian, Federer has naturally grown accustomed to the chaotic Flushing Meadows site.
“I used to struggle here a bit more, just because conditions were really difficult, but then I started to embrace everything, and I enjoyed the wild city, New York, the way crowds are and how loud it is and everything,” he said.
“Now I love everything about it, especially the city and the fans here. They definitely helped, especially last year (to beat Andy Murray in the final).”
Federer called the Open “one of the toughest to win.”
“Everybody is going for the last Grand Slam of the season, everybody can play on hard courts. Nobody has excuses that they never played on hard courts, because that’s the majority of the surface,” he said.
“That’s where I think it’s really difficult to win here. You rarely see surprises at the US Open, I guess just because we’re into a full season, this is what everybody’s match tough and fit, fit to go, and it makes it difficult to win here.”
Federer is looking far back in ancient tennis history as he aims for a sixth straight title in New York. Should he succeed, he would become the first man since Bill Tilden in 1925 to collect a sixth successive New York title and just the fourth man in history to win the same Grand Slam title for six straight years.
The 28-year-old is hoping to complete the Wimbledon-US Open double for the fifth time.