Roger Federer could face Rafael Nadal in US Open semi-finals

Watch Rafael Nadal speaks out after officially replacing Andy Murray as world No.1

Only Andy Murray (35) and Wawrinka (37), who have both had years heavily hampered by injuries, have played less matches than him in the current top 10.

The day before beating Cilic in the final at the All England Club to claim his eighth Wimbledon championship and 19th at a major overall - both records for a man - Federer sat down with Luthi to discuss preparation for the US Open.

Now shifting to Andy Murray.

Confidence is vital in all spheres of life and it showed in subsequent months as Federer and Nadal reclaimed dominance of a sport they had once owned.

Nadal, 31, heads to NY on the back of a quarter-final loss to Nick Kyrgios in Cincinnati and a Montreal last-16 defeat to Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov.

En route to those titles he comfortably defeated Nadal twice to extend his recent win-streak over the Spaniard to four.

Former world number one Murray has not played since hobbling out of Wimbledon after his quarter-final loss to Sam Querrey, while SW19 champion Roger Federer missed the Rogers Cup after tweaking his back. All three could feasibly end the fortnight at Flushing Meadows as world number one, a position now occupied by Nadal following Federer and Murray's recent injury withdrawals.

Kyrgios, the runner-up in Cincinnati, made the quarter-finals at the Australian Open in 2015 and Wimbledon in 2014 but his US Open best is a run to the third round.

It had been surprising, given how carefully managed Federer's schedule has been in 2017, that he had agreed to play Montreal and Cincinnati back-to-back, so in hindsight, given how the Cincinnati schedule worked out, it was a blessing to the 36-year-old that he had an extra week to recuperate before the US Open, which begins on Monday. Murray also can not meet either Nadal or Roger Federer until the final, with both on the other side of the draw. Murray is defending the most points out of the three, having made the quarterfinals a year ago.

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Also out of the way is defending champion Stan Wawrinka, another long-term casualty who is facing knee surgery.

We will also have coverage of the World Tour Finals in November with every match live on Sky Sports.

Germany's Alexander Zverev leads this pack by some distance and is perhaps the only one ready to challenge the "Fab Four" of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray. It marks the third time that the 15-time Grand Slam champion heads into the US Open as the top seed after 2008, when he lost in the semifinals, and 2010, when he captured his first of two titles in NY.

There's no doubt that Zverev is a potential future major victor, but 2017 is perhaps a tad too soon.

The 42-year-old, who will play in the Champions Tennis event at The Royal Albert Hall later this year, said: "I think this is just a very unfortunate scenario that has evolved".

Nadal, rightly, took centre stage this week as his own renaissance in reaching No 1 was achieved, but it does feel as if he is keeping the spot warm for Federer, especially given his lukewarm form on hard courts of late.

Having avoided Federer, Murray's projected semi-final opponent is German Zverev. It's been an unfortunate hard-court stretch. McEnroe and Borg were a part of the greatest rivalry in tennis through the 1970s and '80s.

Herman Mostert works at Sport24, is a struggling golfer and enjoys tennis. It would take some effort to upset the apple cart. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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