Former world's no.1 Roger Federer suddenly is in position of becoming a major contender at the upcoming US Open championship, not only because of Rafael Nadal's wrist injury but also his strong play throughout the year.
Federer's perseverance and renewed commitment in the sport have yielded a rejuvenated career that saw him winning titles in Dubai and Halle, and reaching his first Grand Slam finals after a two-year drought.
The 32-year old Federer, who is amazingly fending off father time, emerges once again among the top favourites at the final Grand Slam tournament of the year in Flushing Meadows, New York.
Exactly a year ago, many fans and tennis analysts were dismissing Federer's chances of recapturing his status as a force in Grand Slam tennis following a series of early exits in several tournaments - including a second-round shocker at the 2013 Wimbledon Open.
In fact, there were a growing concern that Federer might have eventually close the curtain on his epic tennis career that saw him breaking multiple records and bagging as many as 17 Grand Slam titles.
However, with the arrival of tennis great Stefan Edberg in his coaching staff and a more polished technique using a bigger racket, the Swiss Maestro re-asserted his claim to throne by showcasing a more aggressive style of tennis and modified a version of the classical serve-and-volley strategy.
This kind of approach has helped Federer start the year with a bag by winning the tournament at the Dubai Tennis Championship and reaching the Australian Open semis, where he's booted out by Nadal.
Though he had a rough clay-court season largely because of lack of practices as a result of the birth of his second set of twins in May, Federer took the grass-court season by storm as he once again bagged the title at Gerry Webber Open and took Novak Djokovic to the limit in another epic Wimbledon Open final.
Federer's superb performance at All England Club opened many eyes that he's still someone to be reckoned with in the sport. His resurgence has turned many doubters into believers that winning a Grand Slam remains possible for the ageing tennis great.
Looking forward to the US Open championship, the Swiss will once again attempt to win Grand Slam no.18. The health status of Rafael Nadal would sure bolster his bid in Flushing Meadows, but he must also overcome a plethora of up-and-coming stars like Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic, Ernest Gulbis and Nick Kyrgios who are hungry for Grand Slam glory. Of course, Andy Murray, Djokovic and Nadal (if he's healthy) are still the big players along the way. However, one thing is for sure about Federer ahead of the US Open joust - he has a legit shot at no.18.
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