Federer goes for sixth in a row at US Open
Swiss superstar has special inspiration as he goes for a sixth consecutive US Open crown on Monday.New York – Roger Federer has completed a career Grand Slam and set a career record with 15 Slam titles, but the Swiss superstar has special inspiration as he goes for a sixth consecutive US Open crown on Monday.
World number one Federer faces Argentine sixth seed Juan Martin Del Potro, his sixth different finals foe in as many years, seeking his first Slam title since becoming a father of twins in July and his third Slam crown in a row.
"It will be great to get the first Slam as a dad sort of thing, keep the momentum going, win three in a row. It will be something very special," Federer said. "I'm feeling great. I hope I can do it."
Federer, trying to equal Bill Tilden's US Open record six titles in a row from 1920 through 1925, was thwarted in a bid for six in a row at Wimbledon last year, losing an epic five-set final last year to Rafael Nadal.
"Hopefully I've got one more match in me now to get six in a row," Federer said. "It will be absolutely amazing. It's something I wasn't able to do in Wimbledon, even though I was so close, so I hope things go well for me.
Not since Rod Laver's 1969 Grand Slam sweep has anyone won three Slams in a row in one year, but Federer is a win shy of being able to hit the Australian Open in January with a chance to win and hold all four major titles at once.
Federer completed a career Slam by winning the French Open and passed Pete Sampras for the all-time Slam title record with his 15th in July at Wimbledon as tennis royalty - Sampras, Laver and Bjorn Borg among others - looked on.
"It definitely increased the pressure and so I feel a little bit different here," Federer said. "Things go very quickly here. You don't have much time to think about it. You just take it in your stride."
World number one Federer has won 41 matches in a row on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts, including one walkover, but faces a massive challenge in the South American giant who ousted Nadal 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 in a semi-final.
"I'm sure Del Potro is going to give me a run for my money," Federer said. "Del Potro had a great match against Rafa. To come through the way he did it's to say the least impressive. That's why he's not to be underestimated."
Del Potro, in his first Slam final, is 0-6 lifetime against Federer but nearly denied the Swiss his first Roland Garros title before he rallied to win 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 2-6, 6-1, 6-4.
"You could feel like he was just improving every month," Federer said. "He was hitting his serves better. From the baseline he was getting more confident. He knows much more now what he needs to do on the tennis court."
"He's so tall, he needs to figure out his game, I think he did that in the last six months. I don't know what's going to happen this time. Paris was clay. This is faster hardcourt. But he's got the all-court game."
Novak Djokovic, who lost to Federer in a semi-final, gives Del Potro a solid chance to dethrone the king of Flushing Meadows.
"I think he has a good chance against Roger if he plays his best. Why not?" Djokovic said.
"Del Potro is showing his best tennis in last couple of months. He's still a young guy, but moving extremely well for his height - very strong serve and great consistency from the groundstrokes."
Del Potro could become only the second South American to win the US Open men's title after countryman Guillero Vilas in 1977
"This is the best moment of my life," he said after reaching the final.
"I always dreamed of this moment. It's great for me and my future. I cannot improve a lot but now I'm doing well."
Del Potro knows hardcourts will favor Federer more than the Paris red clay.
"When I was playing Roger in the French Open I was so close. That surface was much better for me," he said. "Tomorrow, the surface is going to help him. But I have a good sensation. I have the game to win. I just need to be focused."
AFP / Expatica