NEW YORK -- Roger Federer hasn't been to a US Open final since 2009, something he himself pointed outlast month after beating world No. 1 Novak Djokovic to win the title in Cincinnati.
Now Federer is just two victories away from reaching another final -- and three wins shy of capturing his sixth US Open crown, his 18th major championship and his first Grand Slam title since the 2012 Wimbledon.
The way he's been playing so far, it certainly looks like the Swiss Maestro could add to his already historic résumé at the age of 34.
"He always moves well, he's pretty effortless out there," big-serving American John Isner said after Federer eliminated him, 7-6, 7-6, 7-5, on Monday night in Arthur Ashe Stadium to advance to the quarterfinals. "He's so fluid in how he moves. I think that's the big reason why he's able to play at such a high level for such a long time and stay so healthy as well."
While his long-time rival Rafael Nadal (who was bounced in the third round by Italian Fabio Fognini) appears to be breaking down at the age of 29 because of his physical, grinding style of play, Federerlooks like he'sperforming ballet on the tennis court at times.
He hasn't lost a set in the tournament and returned well enough against the 6-foot-10 Isner to break his streak of 56 consecutive service holds that dated to last year's US Open. Meantime, Federer himself has only been broken twice at the Open.
After taking some time toadjust to his new 95-square-inch racquet, Federersays he's now wholeheartedly comfortable with it.
"I think the racquet is helping me, easier power," he said. "Now having played with it for over one-and-a-half years, I feel like I'm really finding the zones, where to hit them. I can place it more accurately right now than I ever could. So I think that's also part of the success."
The draw looksgood for Federer, too.
No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych and No. 3 Andy Murray -- Federer's potential opponents in the quarterfinals and semis -- were ousted in the fourth round, leaving Federer to face Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the quarters on Wednesday. Federer is 14-2 all-time against Gasquet, 8-0 on hardcourts.
"Clearly I feel really good about my chances in the quarters now," Federer said.
In the semis, Federer could meet the winner between No. 5 Stan Wawrinka, his Swiss countryman and the reigning French Open champion, and big-serving 6-foot-8 South African Kevin Anderson, who stunned Murray in four sets.
Novak Djokovic, who was set to play his quarterfinal Tuesday night against Feliciano Lopez, could await in the final. Djokovic is 1-4 in US Open finals, his only title coming in 2011.
Of course, a year ago, Federer's draw seemed to open right up, too, and that didn't go his way.
He needed to beat Marin Cilic in the semis (against whom Federer was 5-0) and then Kei Nishikori in the final (Federer led 3-2) to win his 18th major, but was bludgeoned in straight sets by Cilic, who this year is on Djokovic's side of the draw.
"This year that shouldn't happen," Federer said. "I will tell myself it cannot happen. Even if I play five sets, it doesn't matter."
Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter @AdamZagoria for updates throughout the U.S. Open.