'Always leave them wanting more': It is a saying that Roger Federer will do well to remember. The longer he plays on, the more his legacy will be tainted.
Defeat in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters to compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka is particularly poignant. He is no longer the best Swiss player, let alone the world's.
Too often in sport nowadays we see sportsmen and women clinging onto the winter of their careers when they really should call it quits when Autumn starts to shed the leaves of success.
Stars have stayed too long in the sport and have suffered accordingly. In football, former world-beater Ronaldinho is a shadow of the former great he was as he retires in his native Brazil. Audley Harrison became a boxing laughing stock along with others like Mike Tyson who made unsuccessful comebacks. Golf is littered with them.
It would be a shame to see Federer go that same way, he has won almost all he can win in tennis, so what is the point in prolonging things?
Newer and younger fans of the sport will hear about the once great man, but what they will see on the stands and on their television sets is a ghost of that legend.
The plain fact is that the 32-year-old has gone nearly two years without a Grand Slam title, the memories of beating Andy Murray at Wimbledon 2012 has long since passed.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic; even Wawrinka and an in-form Murray have been playing at levels that usurp what Federer can manage today.
In most cases, tennis is a young man's sport. The retirement of the younger Andy Roddick and the decline of former world no.1 Lleyton Hewitt demonstrate that.
It is hard to imagine that he will able to win another major Championship. Nadal - despite recent failures - remains the 'King of Clay'. Murray is looking to build on his 2013 Wimbledon win. Djokovic looks unbeatable on the hard courts of Australia and Flushing Meadows.
It isn't as if Federer is in need of money either. Forbes ranked him as second in their 2013 list of the world's highest paid sportsman.
The best thing for the former world no.1 now would be to sit back upon his armchair made out of soft dollar cheques and Grand Slam silverware.
He has nothing left to prove. Almost five years it has been since he became the most successful man ever; overtaking Pete Sampras' haul of 14 Grand Slams Championships.
Now, with 17, he should be more than happy to watch the challengers train themselves into the dirt amidst boiling hot temperatures around the world. He is the one they look up to, the one that they aspire to at the moment.
Different his reputation will be, if he ends up out of the world's top 50 and scrapping around the lesser tournaments desperately trying to relive former glories.
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