"I think I'm really close to making something special happen. I haven't been thinking too much of what's been happening. I'm more looking forward to what's hopefully to come."
These words, from Roger Federer recently, must be music to the ears of his fans.
On the other hand, judging by his results in the Grand Slams of the last two years, including his loss to Tsonga at Wimbledon this year, which was the first time in his career he squandered a two-set lead at a Grand Slam, one may wonder whether this is just the delusion of this great champion. After all, he is about to turn thirty. And whereas for much of the last two to three years his road to further glory was blocked by one archrival, there emerges in 2011 another who is even more formidable. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are the greatest stumbling block to his making something special happen.
But it is good to see that, as Federer himself put it, "the mind is there".
Arguably the greatest tennis player ever, Federer has nothing to prove. So if he stays in shape, and if he has a bit of luck, who know?
At least, he seems to be in the right frame of mind.
"I'm at peace with myself," he said. "I know my abilities. I don't want to say I'm over-confident, but I also know what I can do and I also know, how do you say, my limits. Hopefully that allows me to play the best tennis I can each day."
He certainly needs to play the best tennis he can to become US Open champion again for the first time since 2008.