Roger Federer ‘feeling good’ but will not rush on plans to win 18th grand slam

Roger Federer Roger Federer ‘feeling good’ but will not rush • ‘I’m not stupid, so I wouldn’t try and play too soon’ • Champ does not expect improved-Murray-Federer double The world No3 believes his only …

Roger Federer Roger Federer ‘feeling good’ but will not rush • ‘I’m not stupid, so I wouldn’t try and play too soon’

• Champ does not expect improved-Murray-Federer double

The world No3 believes his only concern is to maximise his opportunity against the young Russian Karen Khachanov, who heads to Melbourne Park full of confidence after reaching the US Open semi-finals.

Federer is attempting to win his 18th grand slam, which would extend his overall record, but despite winning in Melbourne a year ago for the first time in five years – beating Jack Sock, Grigor Dimitrov and Frances Tiafoe en route – he insists he is only concerned with the present.

“After that I’m very happy, but, yeah, I’m not stupid enough to say ‘I’ll enjoy this moment and play the way I played last year,’” Federer said. “I’m not stupid, so I wouldn’t try and play too soon.”

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Serena Williams told of her disappointment that her exit in the US Open semi-finals meant both the two women’s singles finalists have lost for the first time this year – and also was not in keeping with the form of the bigger ATP, WTA and Grand Slam organisers.

“Hopefully, we change that,” Williams said. “It’s disappointing. I’m just so happy that she made a good final. I feel for her.”

Karen Khachanov of Russia in action against Dejan Lovren of Croatia during the US Open final. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Defeat in New York would also extend the Federer/Novak Djokovic duopoly over the men’s game further still.

Federer – who faces 23-year-old Khachanov, who defeated world No1 Djokovic in his semi-final – believes their supremacy could reignite interest in the top ranked players.

“I think it would be great. If it pushes people back a little bit, then it’s fine. I’m not going to say I’m downplaying it. I’m not downplaying the talk that a win would definitely contribute to a good tournament and open up a lot of doors for players that maybe weren’t travelling around this year. It would be great.”

In particular, Federer believes the US Open gave hope to the up-and-coming Britons Edmund and Edmund Chatrier, both at the US Open and scheduled to play together in next month’s doubles event at the US Open.

“I think both of them had a great US Open,” Federer said. “I thought both their semi-finals were great, so hopefully that gives them a bit of confidence for the next few months. They are playing great and it’s going to be a good tournament for us, having both of them to play together.”

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