The finals in Forest Hills is old news, but strong in my mind as if it happened yesterday, is the vision of Federer's expression -- his friendly, kind manner that said I'm happy for you, as he shook hands with the winner, Novak Djkovic.
A camera caught his wife's face as the match ended -- her fully knowing and feeling what the loss meant. Have they absorbed the pain, and moved on to the other matches, the touring, teaching, lecturing -- all the things that a tennis star does before next season's major tournaments start again?
Because Roger Federer is what he is -- a winner, a man who thoroughly, truly loves, respects, understands the history, the traditions, as well as the playing of the sport, I think they are both doing what they need to be doing.
This schedule is on his website:
Australian Open:Melbourne, Australia: Dates: 18-31 Jan 2016
Roland Garros, Paris, France. Dates: 22 May - 5 Jun 2016
Wimbledon, Wimbledon, London England: Dates: 27 Jun - 10 Jul 2016
US Open, Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY: Dates: 29 Aug - 11 Sep 2016
I know how it feels to be told by the numbers, told again and again by all those words that say you are too old, you can't do what a younger person can do -- even if your inner voice is saying no, no, you've got it wrong. You know that it is a truth -- you no longer have the rebound and bounce, the inner joy, the confidence of a destined-to-win winner.
Federer has been hearing about his age for a couple of years, but doesn't discuss it. The only sentence he uttered, when he was thanking Djkovic for being such a good, talented player, was a brief, quiet sentence about being back next year.
My ears tingled. My heart sang --"Yes, be back next year. and try hard again."
Wherever he is right now -- he's not mourning or reviewing what he might have handled better in that finals game -- he's playing with his usual intense total concentration -- like MacEnroe said, "playing his usual beautiful game."
Federer's ability to be on the moment at the moment deeply inspires me. That's what I feel, learn, and want to emulate when I watch Roger Federer, with keen coordination, keen focus and grace -- playing the game he loves.