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Federer: US Open in my hands

ESPN staff
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Roger Federer arrives at Flushing Meadows full of confidence © PA Photos
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Roger Federer has fired a warning to his rivals ahead of the US Open by declaring he feels unbeatable when he is at the top of his game.

The world No. 1 arrives in New York in search of a sixth title at Flushing Meadows, and first since 2008.

The Swiss maestro has enjoyed a triumphant summer: a record-equalling seventh singles Wimbledon crown saw a return to the top ranking, he won Olympic silver at London 2012, and he recently clinched a record-tying 21st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati.

"I'm just happy how I'm playing," he said. "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 [the US Open] 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."

Ominously for the other players harbouring hopes of winning at the final grand slam of the year, Federer enters the tournament on a high having picked up nine titles since his semi-final defeat in New York last year.

"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."

The 31-year-old, who begins his US Open campaign against American Donald Young, never had any doubts he would return to the summit of the sport, admitting the key to re-establishing himself as the man to beat was patience.

"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," he added. "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.

"I will take it one match at a time. 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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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