Roger Federer may well have blown his best chance to win his elusive 18th Grand Slam title with a shocking capitulation in the semi-finals of the US Open against Marin Cilic.
Many fans were hoping and expecting to see the former world No.1 end his two-year wait for a major title on the eve of the action at Flushing Meadows; with Novak Djokovic struggling for pre-tournament form and Rafael Nadal absent from the whole competition through injury.
Djokovic did indeed fall in similar circumstances in the other last-four match against Kei Nishikori, but Federer was blown away on the same day by Cilic in straight-sets with a 3-6 4-6 4-6 loss.
It was all too simple for the Croatian world no.15 who strolled to his first major final in less than an hour's play.
Federer will need to dust himself down and go again in 2015 in order to get to no.18, but it will only get harder for the 33-year-old with so many younger competitors challenging for honours.
Thankfully the world no.3 recognises that winning another Slam will represent an impressive feat and he remains contented with the honours he has picked up in his career already, not just in the majors but the Masters as well - he won his 80th tour title at Cincinnati a few weeks ago.
"It's not important to my life. I don`t need it to be more happy or anything," Federer told ESPN.
"The moment itself, it would mean a lot. I keep working hard to win titles on the tour, not just No.18.
"I was very happy to get to No.80 (tour titles) the other week, so that was huge for me.
"I'll give it a go again in Australia [next January]; I hope to be healthy there. I enjoy playing there. It's been one of my most consistent slams. I hope to get another chance at it. I can`t do more than try really hard, which I'm doing."
The end is near?
Being such a popular and successful star, many people throughout the sport will hope that this recent loss doesn't spell the end for Roger Federer.
In 2013, following one of his worst years on the tour ever, you could've been forgiven for writing-off the Swiss star.
However a second wind, if you like, has carried him to two Grand Slam semi-finals and one final - at Wimbledon - as well as three other tour titles.
Next year has the potential to be one of the most intriguing in many-a-year for the sport with so many stars looking to consolidate breakthroughs.
Nishikori and Cilic, to name just two, will hope that their New York final on Monday won't be a one-off. Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic, meanwhile, are on the brink of stardom.
Furthermore though, the likes of Djokovic, Nadal and Andy Murray - the other members of the traditional big four - will certainly look to bounce back.
The performances of all the above names, good or bad, may well define how many Grand Slam titles Federer will end his career with.