The best tennis players are masters of short-term memory loss; forgetting the most painful of defeats and somehow focusing only on the positives. But how Roger Federer recovers, mentally, from his near-miss at Wimbledon in July will go a long way toward determining how he does in New York and the rest of 2019.
Standing at 8-7, 40-15, on his own serve, with two points to win a ninth Wimbledon title, it seemed that time froze as he could not close out Djokovic. He went on a caravan holiday with his family to get away from the pain and though this one will surely hurt for a while, he has recovered from many tough losses in his career before.
An early loss to Andrey Rublev in Cincinnati may have left him a little under-done and though he won the title in New York every year between 2004 and 2008, he has not won it since. Last year, he was beaten in the fourth round by Australian John Millman.
This year, having been handed a decent draw in week one, he should go further, and the incentive of a possible semi-final against Djokovic might push him on, even at the grand old age of 38, to another final.