Federer, Roddick dueling for Open title

The U.S. Open could be another feather in Roger Federer's cap or the beginning of Andy Roddick's attempt to take back the No. 1 ranking.

Updated: August 29, 2004, 5:52 PM ET
By Malivai Washington | ESPN.com
The question coming into the year's final Grand Slam is, who can challenge Roger Federer at the U.S. Open on tennis' biggest stage? Since he won the Australian Open in January, no one has shown he can really threaten Federer to the point that his No. 1 ranking is in any kind of jeopardy.

His losses in Cincinnati and Athens only prove he's human and subject to fatigue if his schedule isn't handling properly. Other than those blips, it's obvious that he's on a single-minded mission to stay No. 1 in the world. It's impossible for a player to keep up his strenuous schedule so I expect him to decrease his events after the U.S. Open and then try to peak again for the Masters Cup.

Roger Federer
APRoger Federer will try and keep his amazing play going at the U.S. Open.

Because of his downtime after the Olympics, he should come into the Open feeling rested. His campaign starts with a tough first round match against former French Open champion Albert Costa. Don't think this will be a walkover just because Costa is unseeded; their head to head series is tied at two matches with Costa winning at the Nasdaq 100 last year and this year at the Tennis Masters in Rome. This will be one of the best first-round matchups.

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