Roger Federer's return to the circuit never took off as fans would have hoped. The former world number 1 played the pittance of 13 official matches from March to Wimbledon, scoring an unexciting tally of nine wins and four losses.
He got his best results in the Grand Slams (eighths at Roland Garros and quarters at Wimbledon), but it is a decidedly meager booty for a legend of his caliber. His last appearance dates back to the London Slam, where he was overwhelmed in the quarterfinals by Hubert Hurkacz.
Beyond the defeat, what struck everyone was King Roger's inability to resist. The bagel suffered in the third set speaks volumes about the psycho-physical conditions of the Maestro in this 2021. The 40-year-old from Basel has decided to have an operation on his right knee for the third time, hoping to treat himself to at least one final catwalk next season.
There are already rumors of a dream double with friend and rival Rafael Nadal at the 2022 Laver Cup (to be held at the O2 Arena in London). In a long interview granted to 'GQ Magazine', the 20-time Grand Slam champion recounted the sensations he experienced at Wimbledon a few months ago.
Roger Federer comments on Wimbledon
"The standing ovation I received there this year was certainly a special one. When I left the court, I could feel the crowd’s love and their support," Roger Federer said.
He has lost four title clashes at the All England Club, but according to the Swiss, this year's relatively early exit was even more painful than a defeat in a final. "Obviously, it's always hard leaving a court after losing at Wimbledon earlier than a final… When you reach a final, there's a trophy ceremony, there's more to it, but when you lose earlier, well, you pack your stuff and you go and, at that point, the stage is your winning opponent’s, in my mind, not yours.
So that was important for me to give that one to Hubert [Hurkacz], obviously, as quickly as possible," Federer said. The Swiss, who had only returned to competition a few months before Wimbledon following double knee surgery, said he hoped he could have been in better shape to compete.
"I'm actually very grateful, very happy I was just able to play. I mean, my last year and a half, it's been really difficult. It's been hard with the double knee surgery I had last year and rehab was really slow.
And, look, in some ways I wish I would have been in better shape for Wimbledon this year," Federer lamented.