US OPEN 2012
Federer: From 'Shaken' To Self-Assured
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
What a difference a year makes. Roger Federer shared Saturday that his confidence was a bit shaken entering the 2011 US Open, but stated that he felt self-assured entering his 2012 campaign.
“I think I felt good last year, but probably felt that maybe at times the matches were not always in my racquet, whereas maybe this time around I feel like if I'm playing well I can dictate who's going to win or lose,” he said. “It's going to take something special from my opponent to win. That's kind of how it feels right now; then again, I might walk away from Monday and lost the first round. You have to always be very careful how you say it and how you then play.”
In 2011, his summer campaign included losses to a No. 16-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Canada and to a ninth-ranked Tomas Berdych in Cincinnati. “That's the kind of guys you definitely want to beat to give yourself the chance to the [No.] 1 and [No.] 4 ranked guys,” he elaborated. “If you start losing to those guys all too often that will play tricks on your mind how are you then going to beat the best, even though it's not really related. So maybe I did come into the US Open with a few losses that already maybe shook me up a little bit.”
This time around, Federer enters on a five-match winning streak after capturing a record-tying 21st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title last week in Cincinnati. He also returns to Flushing Meadows as the World No. 1 following his Wimbledon triumph in July, and is guaranteed to hold onto the top spot in the South African Airways ATP Rankings after the US Open regardless of his result in New York.
“I'm just happy how I'm playing,” said the Swiss. “I already reached my goal for the year becoming World No. 1 and getting Wimbledon again and getting a medal for Switzerland. It's been incredible. But I do have this one left for me this year where I really, really want to do well, and I couldn't be more happy returning here as No. 1. It's super exciting.”
Federer won five straight US Open titles between 2004-08, but has since finished runner-up to Juan Martin del Potro in 2009 and bowed out in the semi-finals against Novak Djokovic the past two years after holding match points each time.
His defeat to Djokovic in 2011, however, sparked a 17-0 finish to the year. Including his three titles to conclude 2011, he was won nine total since last year’s US Open.
“I took some time to assess the situation and how should I move forward,” said Federer. “And then of course it was great to start off with a win in Basel last year in my hometown. Then the rest we know. So it's been a great last 12 months.
“I was able to stay injury free. I always did believe that if things turned for the better for me I was always going to be very near to World No. 1. I wasn't far off, but I couldn't plan on Novak going on a 40 match winning streak or Rafa going for almost four Grand Slams in a row, as well. Other guys also have their part to play in it. It's not only up to purely myself. That's where you have to be patient sometimes and just keep working hard and believing that what you're doing is the right thing as well.”
The 31 year old will play his first match against 23-year-old American Donald Young, who reached the fourth round last year in Flushing Meadows. Young has a 2-20 match record in 2012.
“I will take it one match at a time,” said Federer. “There's no doubt about that. I will never ever underestimate an opponent ever again. I did that enough when I was a teenager. Those times are long gone.”