Vote here: Can Federer win his third Grand Slam of the year at US Open?
Roger Federer won his eighth Wimbledon title in July
Dubai - John McEnroe backs Federer to win his sixth US Open title
By KT Sport
Published: Thu 24 Aug 2017, 7:06 PM
Last updated: Fri 25 Aug 2017, 3:06 PM
Few athletes have aged as gracefully as Roger Federer. Despite missing the last six months of the 2016 season with an injury, the 36-year-old Swiss genius has silenced his critics with five titles - including the Australian Open and Wimbledon - this year.
Now many believe the 19-time Grand Slam winner can also win the US Open which is starting in New York on Monday.
Who could have thought when the season started in January that the 36-year-old veteran who hadn't hit a tennis ball for six months would be gunning for three Grand Slams in the same year?
But Federer had made it a habit of proving his critics wrong.
Even John McEnroe, the enigmatic American who won seven Grand Slam titles, had written off Federer's chances of winning another slam few years ago when Novak Djokovic was dominating the game.
But Federer's unbelievable comeback has stunned McEnroe. The four-time US Open winner now believes Federer is the favourite to win his sixth title in New York.
"At the moment we're just assuming that Roger is going to pull the rabbit out of the hat again," McEnroe told ESPN.
"If Roger wins this, it will be one of the great stories in that last 50 years or ever. I saw him today and I said, 'I've got to tell you, hats off. I've watched tennis for 40 or 50 years and I've never seen anything like this'."
Chris Evert, another American legend who won 18 grand slams in her glorious career, also couldn't hide her admiration for Federer.
"He came back and it was ridiculous. It was like he was a different person. It was like his clone has come back," the former world number one said.
Federer had a minor back issue during his Rogers Cup final defeat to Alexander Zverev and pulled out of the Cincinnati Masters to give himself enough time to recover for the US Open.
It was Federer's only third defeat of the year.
If he can overcome that problem, there will be no doubt that he will be the strong favourite to win his 20th Grand Slam.
Among the big names, only Rafael Nadal will be present in New York as there is still uncertainty over the participation of Andy Murray.
While Nadal has regained the world number one ranking, his form in hard court has been highly unimpressive.
Also, there will be no Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic.
That really opens the door for Federer to run deep into the last Slam of the year.
If he stays fit and if he can handle talented youngsters like Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Nick Kyrgios, his fans will be expecting nothing less than the trophy in New York.