Roger Federer needs to play more tournaments following his shock US Open exit or consider retirement, says former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion, 37, lost to world number 55 John Millman in the fourth round.
Swiss Federer has scaled down his playing commitments, instead building his schedule around specific events.
“Eventually it catches up with you and you get unexplainable losses and bad performances,” said Cash. He told BBC Radio 5 live: “It will happen once in a while and then a little bit more and a little bit more. Then you say either play a little bit more or retire.
“He may or may not make that decision this time. I’m not saying retirement is imminent but he might think enough is enough.
“When you come towards the end of the career these losses just happen and you scratch your head and ask ‘what went wrong there?’’
Second seed Federer was targeting a sixth US Open victory, having not won at Flushing Meadows since 2008.
But, after winning the opening set, he produced an erratic display to lose to Australian Millman in four sets.
Federer had never lost previously at the US Open to a player ranked outside the world’s top 50. He skipped the clay-court season for the second successive year, returning to play two grass-court tournaments before losing to Kevin Anderson in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
That was his earliest exit at the All England Club since losing in the second round to Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky in 2013. He responded by taking another break before playing one tournament in Cincinnati, where he lost in the final to Novak Djokovic, in the build-up to the US Open.
Federer says he understands being regularly asked about retirement, having faced with this line of questioning for “like nine years”.
Last week he insisted he was not ready to give up. — BBC