Roger Federer, who went two and a half years without a Grand Slam title before winning the record 17th major of his career last month at Wimbledon, said he never doubted he would return to the top.
In his final session with reporters ahead of today’s start of the US Open, the 31-year-old Swiss top seed said on Saturday that he always knew he had the form to bounce back and regain the World No 1 ranking.
“Doubts? Maybe you believe less or you believe more, but doubt, not really,” Federer said. “I knew how close I was. I was actually extremely close on many occasions to give myself chances to win Slams. So it was just a combination of many things that set me back at times, but I never gave up. Mentally I was always ready to do the work and willing to travel and give it a shot. At the end it all paid off. I’m extremely happy.
“People think I can win every Grand Slam that comes up and if I don’t win the US Open I will never win one again. It’s always the same story. I’m just happy I was able to get Wimbledon. It just shows what I knew, if I do play well I can win Grand Slams.”
Federer squandered two match points and lost to Novak Djokovic last year in a US Open semi-final, but has gone 56-7 in 2012 with six titles including Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells, Madrid and Cincinnati as well as Wimbledon.
“It’s not only last year’s match that made me get back to World No 1. There have been a lot of sacrifices,” Federer said.
Top seed Federer has the last night match at Arthur Ashe Stadium against American Donald Young tonight.
US Open: Serena Williams embraces ‘favourite’ tag
Serena Williams earns the nod as a favorite heading into the US Open by virtue of her Olympic and Wimbledon titles, but the field of contenders is otherwise wide open entering the year’s last Grand Slam. Williams said: “I embrace being that,” Serena Williams said of the favorite’s role. “Like at Wimbledon I wasn't the favorite and I was shocked. I actually got angry. So I don't know if it's better not to be a favorite or for me to be a favorite.”