The ghost of Bill Tilden can rest once again. Roger Federer couldn’t quite match the great American’s haul of six straight US titles, but the Swiss superstar will be satisfied that at 28 years of age he has plenty more opportunities to add to his record of 15 Grand Slam championship trophies.
“Five was great, four was great, too,” said Federer, after his five-set loss to Argentine Juan Martin del Potro ended his 40-match winning streak at Flushing Meadows on Monday. “Six would have been a dream, too, [but I] can't have them all. I'm not too disappointed, because I thought I played another wonderful tournament.
“This one is easy to get over just because I’ve had the most amazing summer and a great run. He played well and in the end it was a tough fifth set. It’s acceptable. Life goes on. No problem.”
Federer is already looking forward to adding to his 61 career titles at the Shanghai ATP Masters 1000, Davidoff Swiss Indoors Basel and BNP Paribas Masters in Paris prior to the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, which is set to be the world’s biggest-ever indoor tournament.
"There’s a lot of time between now and the Australian Open,” said Federer, who dropped to 15-6 overall in Grand Slam finals. “We have some big ones along the way. So I hope I can keep it up because I’m playing great tennis right now.
“I've had a wonderful season in terms of Grand Slams. Next to that, I also got back to No. 1 in the world. I hope I can defend that until the end of the year and then hopefully win the [Barclays ATP] World Tour Finals in London.”
Of course, it was a different story at the start of the year when Rafael Nadal was the dominant force highlighted by the Spaniard capturing his sixth Grand Slam title over Federer at the Australian Open.
It took Federer nearly five months to lift his first piece of silverware at the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, and he was quick to silence his critics by producing another year of record-breaking achievement.
In becoming the fourth player in the Open Era to capture the Roland Garros and Wimbledon title double, which helped him better Pete Sampras’ record of 14-major titles, he got rid of the weight of history.
"The year has been amazing already and it's not over yet,” said Federer, who married his long-time girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec in April and welcomed twin girls, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, in July. “[I] got married and had kids, [I] don't know how much more I want.”