‘Winning the same major twice used to be thought a monumental effort. Twelve? Crazy’
an alpha-male gesture, but the crazed scream he let out upon vanquishing Schwartzman hinted at the stakes in play for him these next couple of years, and possibly beyond. Federer purports to be fully fit but the evidence of his loss to Grigor Dimitrov – a player so off-radar this year that in Cincinnati he was asking for a spare dollar to work the hotel washing machine – indicates otherwise. Toni Nadal predicted last year that Federer would not win another major (stop me if you have heard that one before). In the meantime, his nephew continues to rack up the haul, with potentially five in the past three years. When ESPN issued its list of the 20 most dominant athletes in 2018, Federer was fifth, Djokovic 15th, while Nadal, ludicrously, did not even feature. After this US Open, such an analysis might very quickly need to be revised.