The year has been getting better and better for tennis legend Roger Federer.
The 36-year-old from Basel won the Australian Open in January and then triumphed at Wimbledon last month.
Now, rival Rafael Nadal has said that Federer’s form means that the Swiss is now favourite to win the US Open and to end the year as world number one.
Speaking to Eurosport, the Spaniard said: “I’m just trying to find my own way – I’ll see later on what’s happening,
“I’m in a position that I was not expecting this year, I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as I can.
“Being back at the No. 1 ranking was very important and it was a great thing for me but at this part of the year I think Roger is probably a bit more of the favourite than I am.
“Certainly in terms of comfort on the courts.
“In general he plays better than me on this kind of surface, especially when the courts are covered.
“Anyway I’m here to give my best and I hope I’ll play well.”
With Andy Murray out with a hip injury, Novak Djokovic suffering from a damaged elbow, and Stan Wawrinka also out injured, it’s a safe bet that the US Open champion will be either Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer.
That being said, the Swiss legend only just came through a tough first round tie against American teenager Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4.
Following the match, Federer said that he was worried about a back issue that had plagued him earlier this month, which he believed hampered his preparation for Flushing Meadows.
“I was maybe a bit worried from the beginning with my back issue but eventually I was able to let go.
"If I felt my back was going to get worse every match, I probably wouldn’t have played. My hope and belief is that it’s only going to get better now.”
When asked how he felt after coming through his encounter with Tiafoe, the 36-year-old replied: “Extremely well. To get through a five-setter your body has to be OK.
“It’s going to give me great confidence in the body and in my game, because preparation was a little bit compromised, so I’m really, really happy with tonight.”
Up next for Federer is either Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny or Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic.
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