NEW YORK: Roger Federer insists that he will return to the US Open in 2016 despite losing Sunday’s final 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to Novak Djokovic.
Federer, who will be 35 next year, won his last title of five in New York back in 2008.
But at the presentation ceremony, he had no intention of following women’s champion Flavia Pennetta by announcing his retirement.
“I’m very pleased with where my game is at,” said Federer, who won the most recent of his 17 majors at Wimbledon in 2012.
“It feels like it has moved in the right direction. I’m back in the final for the first time since 2009. I love the sport. I’ve got a lot of passion.
“One last thing — I’ll see you guys next year.”
Federer was bidding to become the oldest champion in New York since 35-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1970.
But he failed to breach Djokovic’s formidable defensive skills, managing to convert just four of 23 break point opportunities.
The Swiss had come into the final not having dropped a set at the tournament and having lost serve just twice in 82 games.
He had also strung together 28 consecutive sets in a run stretching back to the Wimbledon final in July, which he also lost to Djokovic.
Federer, the world number two, still believes he can still punch his weight at the highest level, with his five tour titles so far in 2015 only serving to boost his confidence.
“I am very disappointed. I had my chances on my racquet. I should never been down in the score the way I was,” said the Swiss.
“But Novak did a great job of fending them off. It was a tough night.”
“I am playing a good year. I’m playing good tennis. I am happy with where my level is at. I’m able to beat the best players regularly.”
Federer said his success at the Cincinnati Masters on the eve of the US Open convinced him that he still had enough left in the tank.
It was his seventh triumph in the American Midwest, achieved by beating Andy Murray and Djokovic in the semi-finals and final respectively.
“Cincinnati was a great feeling, beating the world number one and world number two in the same week. I don’t think I have done that before.
“I did win my tournaments, the ones I was supposed to. Year’s not over yet. I usually do have a strong finishes to the season, and I hope I can do that again.”
Djokovic now has 10 majors, just one shy of Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg on the all-time list.
He is seven behind Federer but is six years younger.
Federer admits that the Serb will collect many more.
“Are you kidding me? I think he’s doing really well. He’s having a wonderful season, like in 2011 (when Djokovic also won three majors),” he said.
“He’s just really consistent. Seems like there are not many guys that can hang with him, don’t have the tools or dare to go forward, or they don’t dare to serve and volley against him because he’s so good on the return. Which he is.
“He has perfected his game on the hard courts, no doubt about it. He was always a great clay-court player, and because he moves as well as he does, he’s solid and consistent now on the grass.
“He’s having an unbelievable career. He already has a ton, so obviously he’s got to stay healthy and hungry, but obviously you would think he will win more.”