Chris Trotman/Getty Images
You probably thought the pressure was off when you won the U.S. Open last year, right? Well, that's not the way it works. Now you must prove your mettle as the fourth member of the Fab Four. There's no margin for error here, even after winning Wimbledon.
Was Montreal and Cincinnati really your best efforts, or is it too much to pretend it's like playing in a Grand Slam? Maybe your losses there were just to hungrier players who had their day. Unfortunately, this does not help your cause if you want to one day obtain the No. 1 ranking. Meanwhile, Nadal has stormed into the hard-court season as if this was his territory.
This should be the peak of your tennis year, Andy. You must defend your title and capture other important Masters 1000 titles at places like Paris and Shanghai. The World Tour Finals is also there to prove the best of the best.
The draw is fairly good to the semifinals. You would like to reinforce your status as a big-match player when it's three of five sets.
Most of all, you need to win this U.S. Open title because Nadal and Djokovic both want it very badly, and they will not roll over. This could be one more great success for your career as an elite player, or you could be the third wheel of the rivalries.