NEW YORK - Roger Federer sought consolation in a golden summer rather than dwelling on defeat after his upset loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open final.
The towering Argentine became the only player other than Rafael Nadal to beat the world number one in a Grand Slam final, ending Federer's bid to become the first man in the modern era to win six successive New York titles.
Federer was visibly upset 14 months ago when Nadal beat him in near-darkness in a five-set thriller at Wimbledon.
He was distraught after another epic loss to the Spaniard at the Australian Open in February.
In New York, though, Federer calmly accepted Sunday's 3-6 7-6 4-6 7-6 6-2 loss.
"Five was great, four was great too, six would have been a dream too - can't have them all," the Swiss told reporters with a smile.
"I'm not too disappointed just because I thought I played another wonderful tournament.
"I had chances today to win but couldn't take them. It was unfortunate."
A year ago, Federer might have been less sanguine but his subsequent form has softened the blow.
He completed his Grand Slam collection by winning the French Open in Paris before overhauling Pete Sampras's previous record of 14 men's Grand Slam titles with victory at Wimbledon.
"This one is easy to get over just because I've had the most amazing summer and a great run," Federer said.
"I tried everything. Didn't work. I missed chances. He played well and in the end it was a tough fifth set.
"It's acceptable. Life goes on.
All the statistics were on Federer's side before Sunday's final.
Said the 20-year-old Del Potro: "I had two dreams this week - one was to win the US Open and the other one is to be like Roger."
Del Potro earned $1,85million (R13,8million) for his golden run.
Turning to his victim he said: "One is done, but I need to improve a lot to be like you.
"You fought until the final point. You are a great champion.
"This will be in my mind forever."- Reuters