Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting PKNEWS to 80360
The Captain: Time to bow out, Roger
A career littered with titles, including an astonishing 17 grand slams. An extraordinarily gifted athlete blessed with the kind of grace and fluidity to his game that left spectators - and sometimes opponents - spellbound by the sheer majesty of it, Roger Federer must now face up to the hitherto unthinkable prospect that the sport he has dominated for so long is moving on.
For so long the sight of Federer gliding across the world's courts, dispatching opponents with consummate ease, defined men's tennis as we know it. But recent outings must have left the greatest player of his generation, possibly of all time, questioning his continued presence on the tour.
Federer currently sits a pitiful 7th in the world rankings - a pale reflection of his place in the sport. His recent loss to Tommy Robredo at the US Open was peppered with the kinds of mistakes that Fed of old would simply not have made. At times he ran, almost without knowing why, in to the net, trying to force a game he would have walked a couple of years ago.
His pinpoint accuracy, flawless shot selection and textbook ground strokes were replaced by tense baseline rallies and uncharacteristic timidity during break points. Fed had won every single of the previous 10 meetings against the Spaniard, who peaked in 2006 when he reached 5th spot in the world rankings.
But it was Federer who appeared flustered at Flushing Meadows, surrendering dominance of the court to his opponent, and winning only two break points of a possible 16 - this from a man who spent an unprecedented 237 weeks as world number 1. Are they alarm bells I hear?
In typically humble fashion Federer left the court with smiles and waves, aware that rather than being beaten by a superior player he had thrown the game away.
The stats said it all. The five time former US Open champion made 43 errors over three sets. Had he won, he would have faced up against his nemesis, Rafa Nadal. The two have taken part in some of the most exciting games in tennis history, and more often than not their meetings turn into superhuman five-set thrillers, but perhaps this time it was just as well Federer failed to get past Robredo.
No doubt it will be hard for Federer to leave the game behind. Especially at a time when there are still phenomenal players around who are talented enough to lay claim to his throne. I imagine he wants to bow out on top, and on his own terms. But as every sporting great comes to realise during the latter stages of their careers, the body gives out a long time before the mind.
Of course, at 32 years-old Federer is by no means over the hill, and as with most fans of the sport, I would love to see him continue to dominate tennis for years to come - has there ever been a more elegant player to watch? Not in my lifetime, certainly.
I just fear the man who has raked in a record $77 million in career earnings and whose name will forever be writ large in the history books having reached the finals of each Grand Slam at least five times, has finally reached the end of his time at the top, and should bow out.
No amount of superlatives will do him justice, but applying the same grace and dignity to retirement as he has to the rest of his career will ensure Federer the legacy he deserves.