Roger Federer is delighted to be back at the US Open fully fit and ready to challenge, having admitted that was not a realistic prospect last year.
The Swiss was struggling with a back issue as he headed to Flushing Meadows in 2017, failing to progress beyond the quarterfinals in his bid to collect a third grand slam title of the year.
But, Federer is ready for the tournament, now, and excited to return to New York, where he enjoys his tennis and won five straight major crowns between 2004 and 2008 - although he has not triumphed since.
"I'm really excited and happy to be back here healthy again and feeling good. I'll take it one match at a time and see what happens," said Federer.
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"Not feeling 100 per cent last year was hard. I knew from the get-go that it was not going to be possible for me to win. Everything would have had to fall into place."
"Guys would have had to retire against me or played the worst match of their life against me; maybe then, I would have had a chance. But in the later stages of a tournament, it's not feasible anymore."
On his stunning 41-match winning run at the US Open prior to the 2009 final, he added: "I just got on a roll, I guess. For a long period, I was not losing much and, when I came to the US Open, I had all the answers for all the guys, all my opponents, all conditions, wind, night, day."
"I really embraced everything about New York. I think that's why I rarely had bad tournaments here in New York, because I like playing here. I think the court speed is good for me. I'm happy in this country. I'm happy in New York. My personal experience with the five in a row was an unbelievable one. I'm very proud of that accomplishment."