Roger Federer looked as good as ever Monday, winning his opening-round match against American Donald Young in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. After falling short at Flushing Meadows the past three years, can the world's top-ranked player finally capture his sixth U.S. Open title?
Perhaps, but for now, Federer is deferring to the reigning champ and current world No. 2, Novak Djokovic.
"Novak to me goes in as the favorite still because he's the defending champion," Federer said after defeating Young. "He's probably won the most titles on hard courts the last couple of years. It's where he felt most comfortable.
"He's beaten me the last couple of years as well. Then again, I've had a great summer. So has (Andy) Murray. It's going to be an interesting U.S. Open. I'm happy I'm through the first round."
Federer lost to Djokovic in last year's U.S. Open semifinals but has since bested his rival in their last two meetings, including the 2012 Wimbledon's semifinal in July and last week's Western & Southern Open final in Cincinnati. On opposite ends of the draw at this year's U.S. Open, Federer and Djokovic could meet again in yet another Grand Slam final.