Julian Finney/Getty Images
Roger Federer has treated his fans with more moments of joy than any fan can hope for. And he still does.
While winning titles is certainly not irrelevant to Federer or his fans, we, as fans, can nevertheless still enjoy the beauty of his game on any given day.
We can enjoy it when he hits the zone and beats Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 in the 4th round of the U.S. Open, followed up by a clinical straight-sets win over Tsonga.
Federer may have lost a step in speed and a notch in his ability to close out matches, but he hasn't lost his ability to play some of the most aesthetically pleasing tennis the eye has ever seen.
But the game of tennis is not merely about beauty, it is also about winning.
And while we can no longer count on the Maestro winning more than nine out of 10 matches he enters, he's still good enough to win against everybody on any given day.
This is evident from the fact that Federer has given Djokovic more trouble than any other player this year, and came within a good serve or a good forehand of defeating him twice.
Federer still puts himself in position to win tournaments. And while Djokovic, Nadal and now Murray have passed him in the rankings, he's still a clear member of the big four with the potential to win any given tournament.
And it was not even a year ago that Federer played what Djokovic called the 'best tennis of the year' at the World Tour Finals, where he man-handled the entire elite of men's tennis and finished the deed with a decisive 6-1 third set against Nadal in the final.
He still has the game and the ability to battle and beat the best of the best—just not week in and week out.
The fact that he's still that good is what is impressive. After all, he's turned 30 and he's got more matches in his legs than both Sampras and Agassi had when they hung up their rackets.
Hopefully, his love of the game won't diminish any time soon. If so, he just might keep playing on the tour til his mid-30s.