Roger Federer will try to cap a superb run of form with his first major title in three years when he plays Novak Djokovic in today’s US Open final.
The Swiss, 34, has not dropped a set since he lost to Djokovic in the Wimbledon final in July and has swept through the draw in New York.
But Djokovic, 28, is on course to win a third Grand Slam of 2015, having only missed out in the French Open final.
Serena Williams and her pursuit of the calendar Slam dominated the first 12 days of the tournament, but Djokovic is on the verge of bettering her year at the majors.
For the second time in his career, the Serb is within sight of winning three of the four Slams, and for the first time has has reached all four finals.
“Win or lose on Sunday, it still has been so far a great year, my best year alongside 2011,” said Djokovic.
“But obviously I’m only thinking about winning that US Open trophy.”
Djokovic, who thrashed the defending champion Marin Cilic in the semi-finals, will be up against a man in rare attacking form in Federer.
“I know that he’s lately being very aggressive coming to the net, mixing up, and trying to shorten out the points,” said Djokovic.
“I think also he improved his speed. His defensive game is better than it was.”
Federer will almost certainly have the backing of most of the 23,000 spectators as he attempts to win his first US Open in seven years, and his first major anywhere in three years.
“I definitely think if there would be more on my side that will give me a lift and extra energy and momentum possibly,” said the Swiss, looking for his 18th major title.
Since losing to Djokovic in the Wimbledon final in July, Federer has won the Cincinnati title and reached the final in New York without dropping a set.
He beat Djokovic in the Cincinnati final but has not overcome the Serb at a Grand Slam in three years, despite still edging their head-to-head record 21-20.
“I think it’s just a straight shoot-out, and I think that’s the cool thing about our rivalry,” he said.
“It’s very athletic. We can both handle whatever we present to one another, it’s very even.”