Roger Federer & Serena Williams favourites to win US Open

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Former champions, Roger Federer and Serena Williams, are both primed to add a sixth US Open title to their Grand Slam collections, after a near perfect build-up to the Flushing Meadows showpiece, beginning next week in New York.


The similarities coming into the final Grand Slam of the season for the aging duo are remarkably similar when you take into account their ages, the fact that they are both chasing an 18th Grand Slam and a sixth US Open title.

Adding to this, both players arrive in New York as winners of their respective finals at the Cincinnati Masters last week when Serena demolished Serbia's Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-1.

While the Swiss legend fought off a defiant David Ferrer in three-sets for his sixth title in Ohio, and on this form it would be tough to bet against the pair repeating the feat again in New York, one they achieved in 2008 when they were crowned Champions.

Resurgent Federer

Federer has undergone an astonishing reversal of fortunes this season under the guidance of six-times Grand Slam Champion Stefan Edberg. After being dumped out in the fourth-round of the US Open last year by Spaniard Tommy Robredo, it appeared the Swiss great was on a downward spiral and drifting further away to the possibility of an 18th-Grand Slam.

By his own admission and I suppose in his defence, he did play much of the 2013 season with a back injury, probably the main contributing factor in his return of just one tournament win which came in Halle, his traditional warm-up to Wimbledon.

Edberg influence

To his credit, Federer is approaching his best form again that saw him win five-consecutive US Open titles from 2004-2008 and few will argue that Edberg has been a big influence his rise back up the rankings.

Edberg, winner of the US Open in 1991 and 1992, is as close to Federer as you can get when it comes to comparisons between past and present greats.

Forget the statistics and tournament wins as few can match the Swiss on that front, however the calmness they showcase on the court, their effortless backhand's and their smooth flowing action around the court are just some of the similarities that suggest their was always going to be a measure of success in the partnership.

Edberg has not only brought a winning confidence back to his pupil's game but has also given Federer more confidence at the net, a part of the game that few in the history of the sport were better at than the Swede.

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At 33-years of age Federer cannot afford to get embroiled in a baseline battle with the likes of Djokovic, Murray and Nadal, finishing off points as quickly as possible represents his best opportunity of getting one over his rivals, and the attacking net play appears to be the weapon capable of doing the job.

The Swiss arrives at Flushing Meadows with three ATP wins to his name this season, which doesn't tell the full story of his resurgent form this year. Federer knows he should be sitting on a lot more titles after being a losing finalist in Brisbane, Monte Carlo, Indian Wells, Wimbledon and Montreal, although he will take heart in the fact that it is a vastly improved season to last year and one that shows that their is life in the old dog yet.

Djokovic threat

Federer's biggest threat will come in the shape of world number one Novak Djokovic, the 2011 US Open Champion, considering the absence of Rafa Nadal due to injury.

Despite Djokovic's indifferent form since his epic Wimbledon triumph over Federer, the Serbian has proved he remains the man for the big occasion and will be looking to reverse his fortunes at Flushing Meadows after being runner-up on four occasions.

Murray looking to end drought

Andy Murray returns to the scene of his first Grand Slam win which came in an epic final against Djokovic in 2012, however the Scot has failed to lift a title since the 2013 Wimbledon Championship and will be desperate to get back to winning ways in New York.

It has been a frustrating year for Murray after undergoing back surgery towards the end of last year, a period out of the game that has clearly hampered his momentum and progress.

Murray's loss of form also appears to have coincided with the parting of ways with former coach Ivan Lendl, a move that has made as big an impact on his demise as it did on his immediate success when they first joined forces.

Grand Slam's are all about two weeks and potentially five-set matches which is what makes the ultimate prize even more difficult to achieve in the steamy conditions awaiting the players in New York, so one can never rule out the younger brigade coming through like big serving Canadian Milos Raonic and rising star Grigor Dimitrov, however a real outside threat could very well come from Federer and Djokovic's conqueror in the recent Toronto Masters, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The Frenchman was in stunning form throughout the week and any signs of that level of performance will spell trouble for the rest of the draw.

History beckons for Williams

In the ladies draw it is difficult to see anybody other than Serena Williams delivering a hat-trick of wins in New York, despite her indifferent Grand Slam form this season.

Williams won an incredible 12-tournaments last season including the French and US Open's in what was regarded as one of the greatest season's by a player in the history of the ladies game, so when you consider she comes into New York with just five-titles, it is understandable that part of the media has questioned whether the end of her career is near.

However, Williams' recent North American hard-court form which has seen her title at the Stanford Classic and Cincinnati, has showed yet again that when she steps out on court, the American remains the firm favourite no matter who is opposing her on the other side of the net.

History beckons for the 17-times Grand Slam Champion as she not only attempts to draw level with Chris Evert with six US Open wins, but victory will also see her at 32-years of age become the oldest winner in the open era after Margaret Court who won the last of her five U.S. titles in 1973 at the age of 31 years, 1 month and 23 days.

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Serena Williams
US Open Tennis
Roger Federer

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