In a chat to Tages Anzeiger following the Cincinnati Open final, Roger Federer explained why he has not won the US Open for a decade. He triumphed for five years in a row at the US Open from 2004 to 2008, then he never managed to lift the trophy again.
Why? 'In order to correctly answer this question, you have to analyze every single year,' Federer said. 'In 2009 I should have won the final against (Juan Martin) del Potro, then I had two brutal semi-finals against (Novak) Djokovic when I lost (after) wasting match points.
If I had won one, I would have good chances in the final (in 2010 and 2011, he would have faced Rafael Nadal). In 2015, I played the final against Djokovic, who was a little better than me. In 2016, I skipped it, in 2017 I was injured.
Once I lost to (Tommy) Robredo (in 2013) because I was not in good form due to my back issues, and one year (Tomas) Berdych played very well. I always had opportunities, I had four very good years. So, if I am at 100% of my shape, anything is possible.' How different is the US Open has as compared to the other Slams? 'There is a lot to do in New York. In Australia, you are far away from home and you are always there with the same people.
At Wimbledon, you are like in a bubble. At the US Open, you have contact with people, you travel a lot. You may go to nice restaurants or you attend a Broadway show. There are nice distractions. You don't want to go to New York and always stay in the hotel room, but you do not even want that these things affect your possibilities.' And what is exciting about the tournament itself? 'The big Arthur Ashe Stadium.
There are different condition between day and night sessions. In the past it was very windy on court, now with the retractable roof it's unbelievably hot and it's so noisy. There are fast conditions and you need to stay there.
How well you play, depends on your focus.' ALSO READ: Novak Djokovic: 'Roger Federer wasn't at his best, he struggled to move'