The Swiss Maestro suffered a rare defeat at the Montreal Masters earlier this month. He fell in straight sets to Alexander Zverev, a player that has emerged as having No.1 potential. Federer's service motion during the championship match at the Rogers Cup certainly didn't seem to be flowing as it normally does. Although there is no word of him having an injury that will keep him out of New York he did skip the Cincinnati Masters last week. Recently Federer made remarks that may hint at a lack of confidence heading into the 2017 US Open.

Having already won two majors this season, Federer suggested that winning a third "would be a joke" (Federer qtd.

by CNN's Henry Young and Ravi Ubha on August 21st). The choice of words is a bit strange in that it could be taken to reflect on the caliber of the competition that Federer faces. Usually the face of absolutely unbridled optimism in the face of all barriers, Federer may be starting to come to the reality of his age and what it means for tennis results.

"I know if I stay in shape there are chances for me to do well at the US Open, but to win it? Yeah, at some stage I almost feel like I have to be realistic," Federer said. "I am not 25 anymore. I'm not sure I can win three slams in one year. Winning two is already pretty crazy and plenty good enough for me."

Did Federer really say 'good enough?'

Those that have followed Federer's career over the years will be hard-pressed to find a time when anything except winning everything was "good enough." Federer has been greedy when it comes to title counts, never letting an opponent have a look at what he has regarded as his.

The way Federer went toe-to-toe with Andy Roddick for hours in the 2009 Wimbledon final is a case in point. Federer was already so proven, and Roddick wanted the title so bad, but there was no point in the match where Federer let up, and he ultimately prevailed. It's strange to see Federer now speaking candidly about what could be interpreted as pessimism.

Another tactic out of Federer?

However, another interpretation of Federer's comments is that he's trying to take the pressure off of himself as much as possible. Deflecting attention away from one's status as favorite could certainly do that. But that Federer's comments follow a rare defeat this season where he wasn't able to stay fit enough to compete during a best-of-three set match really is telling.

The US Open final was once Federer's stomping grounds. However, he hasn't won the event since 2008, the longest drought of any major for him including the French Open. With Rafael Nadal's huge problems on the hard-court surface, perhaps both he and Federer are well over-rated as favorites. The 2017 Us Open starts on August 28th with the draw to come late this week.