Federer proves himself a man for all seasons

New York: Let it sizzle, let it blow, let it chill.... whatever the weather, Roger Federer proved himself to be a master of the elements at the US Open.

Federer coolly dismissed opponents in the early rounds when on-court temperatures topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celcius) and on Wednesday, he warmed up his serve in the cold and wind to blow away Robin Soderling and reach the semi-finals.

"I see it as a challenge and I see it as an opportunity to play differently," the Swiss owner of a record 16 grand slam crowns said about playing through the wind.

"It`s not easy, you know. It`s cold. Everywhere it`s blowing. You feel like it`s blowing through your ears and into your eyes.”

"But I think I used to dislike it so much that I`m on the other side now. I was able to turn it around and kind of take enjoyment out of playing in the wind, actually."

Federer also enjoyed the sweet taste of revenge in his 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 rout of Soderling, who had beaten him in the French Open quarter-finals earlier this year.

The 29-year-old Swiss sent down 18 aces against the Swede, who only registered two for himself.

"I guess I got a good service motion," Federer said by way of explanation. "To me, it doesn`t affect my concentration.”

"I think what I`m also very good at is also hit a good serve even though the ball toss is not in the right location anymore. I think that`s something I was always able to do.”

"I can serve to all different corners with either kick or flat or slice. I think that allows me to have a great variety of serves, first of all."

Federer thought of another advantage he holds. "My second serve is reliable, I don`t panic or double fault so much. It`s a huge weapon in conditions like this."

The Swiss went on to admit he was ready for almost anything.

"You know, I`ve played in such strong winds. I`ve practiced in such hot conditions. Whatever you throw at me, I can do it.”

"I mean, obviously if it`s snowing and tough, then it gets a bit different," he said. "I haven`t had that yet, so I guess I would freak out when that starts happening."

Bureau Report