Roger Federer loses at Wimbledon, then ponders if it’s for the last time
Federer, the sixth seed who turns 40 on Aug. 8, won the first of his record eight Wimbledon men’s singles titles in 2003. It was also the first of his 20 Grand Slam singles titles, a male record he shares with Rafael Nadal. Novak Djokovic will tie them if he wins Wimbledon on Sunday.
Federer’s last Grand Slam title came at the 2018 Australian Open. He went 13 months between tournaments after two knee surgeries in 2020, progressing from crutches to walking free to being back on the tennis court. “I’m actually very happy I made it as far as I did here and I actually was able to play Wimbledon at the level that I did after everything I went through,” he said.
The Centre Court crowd gave Federer a standing ovation as he left Wednesday. Federer acknowledged them. “That’s why I play,” he said of the atmosphere. “That’s why I still play now.”
Roger Federer, 39, Just Became the Oldest Man to Reach Wimbledon Quarterfinals: ‘Very Rewarding’
Federer explained that it was “very rewarding” to get back onto the court after recovering from injuries. “When you’re young, you don’t ask yourself the question. But when you’re me, with the year I had, it’s all question marks all over the place. You have to prove it again to yourself that you can actually do it,” he said, according to ATP Tour.
Federer pulled out of last year’s French Open too, after he had arthroscopic surgery on his knee. He later withdrew from the rest of the season that June. “My right knee has been bothering me for a little while. I hoped it would go away, but after an examination, and discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery in Switzerland yesterday,” he wrote at the time. “After the procedure, the doctors confirmed that it was the right thing to have done and are very confident of a full recovery.”
Federer at 39, still a great player but human, was only playing his fifth tournament of the year after missing 13 months because of two knee surgeries. Hubert Hurkacz, 15 years younger at 24, took his chance and came away a 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-0 victor.
Unlike most sports where debates over greatest of all time can rage far and wide, there is little argument about who stands as the GOAT of men’s tennis. Here is a breakdown of all the ways the Swiss champion is the indisputable GOAT of men’s tennis and a champion in life.
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