Federer plays down Murray's chances of U.S. Open success
Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:51pm EDT
By Simon Cambers
CINCINNATI, Ohio (Reuters) - Roger Federer played down Andy Murray's
elevation to the world number two ranking on Monday, saying the Scot
would merely be one of many contenders for his U.S. Open title next
The world number one steps up his preparations at the Cincinnati
Masters this week, looking to hone his game before he bids to win his
sixth consecutive U.S. Open title and claim a record 16th grand slam
Murray lost to Federer in the final in New York last year but the
Swiss said there were plenty of other players who could be just as
"If you look at last week's draw (in Montreal), so many guys are very
equal, I think, right now," Federer told reporters in Cincinnati.
"The final was close, for instance. I think there are many guys who
are beating each other right now so it's quite an interesting dynamic.
"We all know Rafa (Nadal) was injured, so he couldn't put in the fight
he wished to concerning the rankings.
"Now he's back, I'm back playing again after a few weeks. Everybody
seems healthy again, and that can only be a good thing for the rest of
the season. I'm sure Nadal will bounce back strong if he's really fit
Murray, who won the Montreal Masters on Sunday, leapfrogged Nadal to
become the first Briton to be ranked number two.
Federer admitted that the 22-year-old had become a force on hard
courts through his results in the past 12 months.
"I think (Murray) announced himself when he won here last year,"
"From then on he had an unbelievable run, especially on the hard
courts. He's almost won everything there is to win... he's done really
well so it doesn't come as a surprise to many people now."
In Federer's first event since winning Wimbledon and since wife Mirka
gave birth to twin girls last month, he was beaten in the
quarter-finals in Montreal by Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga having led
5-1 in the final set.
Nevertheless, the 28-year-old said he was happy with his game, even if
he will not be putting too much pressure on himself to do well this
"It would be good (to do well), but it's not crucial," he said.
"I'm going to try everything to have a good tournament here. This
tournament has been tricky for me. Either I won or I lost early. I
hope it's one of those years where I can go all the way again.
"I feel my game is good enough to do really well here. Then again, I
still have to do little adjustments playing on hard courts again. I'm
very e***d to be (heading) back to New York."
(Editing by Ossian Shine)