Roger Federer failed to repeat the half-miracle of 2017, when he was able to outperform the competition after a six-month absence from the tour. The former world number 1 returned to Doha last March, hoping to reach top form in time for Wimbledon.
From his first releases, there was the distinct feeling of a Roger well below his usual standards. The Swiss phenomenon showed up in London in very precarious conditions, reaching the quarters thanks to a not impossible scoreboard.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion surrendered sharply to Hubert Hurkacz on Center Court, with the Pole handing him a sensational bagel in the third set. That was also the last match played by the King in 2021, as the Swiss resigned from the Tokyo Olympics due to a knee relapse.
A few weeks later, the 40-year-old from Basel announced that he had to operate again and ended his season. During a Q&A session on Instagram, Nick Kyrgios spent beautiful words for Roger Federer.
Kyrgios pays tribute to Federer
"Roger Federer is the GOAT," Kyrgios said.
"I was intimidated the first time I saw him and after that he always continued to have the aura that no other player has." Nick Kyrgios also made a mention of Roger Federer's outgoing and pleasant personality, calling him a "friendly" guy.
"He is a great and friendly guy with a great sense of humor," Kyrgios said. Interestingly, Roger Federer has a 6-1 head-to-head record against Nick Kyrgios. The 26-year-old won their very first encounter, at the 2015 Madrid Masters, but has gone winless since then.
Nick Kyrgios went on to talk about his constant struggle to remain motivated, something that has plagued much of his career. "It (motivation) is a day-to-day battle," Kyrgios said. "I do not plan ahead, I just take it day by day."
Eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer has committed to playing to the 2022 Halle Open. Among others, the 2021 US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, Tokyo Olympics gold-medalist Alexander Zverev, Kei Nishikori, and Karen Khachanov have confirmed their spot for next year’s Halle Open.
For the Halle Open, Federer’s confirmation is an enormous boost for the ATP 500 event. The Swiss Maestro is the most successful player in the tournament’s history, having won a whopping ten titles. Over the last eighteen months, Federer has struggled with a lingering knee injury, which forced him to undergo two knee surgeries and withdraw from the 2020 season. After undergoing rehabilitation, he made his return at the Qatar Open in March this year.