Roger Federer: 'I could still play at a high level'
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 8322
Last year, 22-year-old Marc Polmans used his Australian Open wild card with both hands, defeating Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7, 6-4 in four hours. and 17 minutes. In his second Major game of his career, Marc threw 22 aces and fired 53 winners and 34 unforced errors.
The youngster suffered six breaks and delivered eight successful return games to seal the deal and cross the finish line first against the more experienced opponent. Marc claimed the last four games of the first game and dominated set number two to open up a huge lead before serving for a 5-4 victory in the fourth set.
Mikhail rallied to expand his chances and fought back against match points in the tie break to take it 10-8 and introduce a decider. Trailing 3-2 in the final set, Polmans claimed four of the last five games to secure his first victory in the Majors.
Polmans singled it out as one of the highlights of his career and talked about his famous legionnaire-like hat that former Australian Open champion Ivan Lendl used to wear in Melbourne Park 30 years ago. Marc assumed that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal would never wear the legionnaire hat like him.
"It's pretty cool, I've been wearing it since I was eight. It's pretty cool how the public is starting to spin it, and I'm always going to keep using it. I don't think Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer will be able to do it - they have pretty big characters and I don't see them wearing the legionnaire hat anytime soon.
The guys on the ATP side haven't seen me that much, so they look at me strangely."
Roger on his SW19 campaign
Roger Federer has given his fans plenty of incredible memories over the past two decades. But one that they will be keen to forget is that of the bagel he was served by Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon earlier this year.
"I already felt in Halle against Felix-Auger Aliassime that my Wimbledon would not be what I had hoped for. Even though I didn't know the nature of my injury, I would be restricted," Federer said. "But when you're aiming everything towards one tournament - as probably Rafa is at Roland Garros - it's normal to put the problems aside and give it your all.
In addition, you always hope for a miracle. There is always a small chance," Federer explained. The Swiss said his run to the quarterfinals gave him confidence that he could still compete at a high level despite the strain on his body.
"But yes, Wimbledon confirmed to me that despite my limitations, I could still play at a high level. And considering how far I've come, I just have to try again," Federer said.