It’s been over two years since Roger Federer won his last Grand Slam tournament, winning the Wimbledon championship in 2012. As the 33-year-old looks to reclaim his spot atop the tennis world, he has a legitimate chance to add another title to his resume with the 2014 U.S. Open.
Along with the No.1 player in the world, Federer has separated himself from the rest of the field. Novak Djokovic and Federer are the heavy favorites to meet in the finals, according to the Irish online betting website Paddy Power.
Djokovic leads the way with 11/4 betting odds, but Federer isn’t far behind at 11/8. Their biggest threat is Andy Murray, but his odds pale in comparison to the top two players at 9/1.
Injuries to some of the sport’s top stars have provided Federer with one of his best chances in recent tournaments to win another Grand Slam title. Defending champion Rafael Nadal isn’t competing because of a wrist injury, and 2010 winner Juan Martin del Potro is out after surgery. Murray is a threat and has made it past the first round, but he barely moved on after battling cramps in his opening match.
If Federer wants to win the 2014 U.S. Open, he’ll likely have to go through Djokovic. The world’s top player has made the finals of the last two Grand Slams, including a win over Federer at Wimbledon. While Djokovic may be better at this point in their current careers, Federer pushed his opponent to the brink, surviving until he lost the fifth and final set, 6-4.
In his first-round match on Tuesday, Federer handled Marinko Matosevic in straight sets. He even made what could turn out to be the play of the tournament, hitting a ball between his legs that bounced off his opponent and earned him a point.
Federer’s history at the U.S. Open is as impressive as any player’s in the last 80 years, winning five career titles at Flushing Meadows. He hasn’t had as much success of late, winning his last U.S. Open championship in 2008. Last year, Federer had his worst finish in a decade, losing to 19th-seeded Tommy Robredo in the Round of 16.
It’s never wise to count out Federer when he's given a chance to win on a hard court. He’s won nine hard-court Grand Slam titles in his career, and won a hard-court tune-up for the U.S. Open in Cincinnati earlier this month.
A win at the 2014 U.S. Open would further cement Federer’s legacy as the greatest of all time, giving him a record-setting 18th Grand Slam title.