Have we seen the last of Roger Federer at Wimbledon? This has been the raging question among legions of the Swiss maestro’s fan after his straight-set defeat to 24-year-old Polish opponent in the quarterfinals of the grass-court major on Wednesday.
Federer will turn 40 next month and with age catching up, he has been meticulously managing his fitness and appearances in international tournaments in recent years. The decision has paid rich dividends but the old touch, as he himself admitted on Wednesday, has gone missing.
“Clearly there’s still a lot of things missing in my game that maybe 10, 15, 20 years ago were very simple and very normal for me to do. Nowadays they don’t happen naturally anymore,” Federer said during a media interaction on Wednesday.
“I have a lot of ideas on the court, but sometimes I can’t do what I want to do,” he added.
The image of Federer leaving the centre court and waving to his fans as he received an extended standing ovation has ignited fears that 20-time major titles winner may have played his last match at what is considered to be his favourite Grand Slam event.
Fans are pouring out their feelings on Twitter, celebrating his remarkable career and praising him for outshining much younger stars despite his age.
— ☢●¢яι¢кєт๏ver●❂ (@mohan_sachin007) July 8, 2021
All good things come to an end and this could be it for Roger. Hope I’m wrong but if truly this is it, I have nothing but fond memories of one amazing career that has spanned over two decades.PS: I’m saving the goodbye for the appropriate time.#Wimbledon #Federer #GOAT pic.twitter.com/1FNwWCy4bL
— John Botwe (@JB_5SportsNet) July 7, 2021
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) July 7, 2021
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) July 7, 2021
Federer lost 3-6, 6-7, 0-6 to Hubert Hurkacz - the first time he lost a set 0-6 at a Wimbledon. And he has added to the speculations of impending retirement saying he himself doesn’t know if he’s going to play at Wimbledon again.
“I don’t know. I really don’t know,” he said.