'Roger Federer looked ordinary,' Major champion recalls

Tennis - Federer suffered one of his toughest Wimbledon losses to Hubert Hurkacz a year ago

by Jovica Ilic
'Roger Federer looked ordinary,' Major champion recalls

Roger Federer entered only his sixth ATP tournament since the start of 2020 at the last year's Wimbledon. With only a couple of matches under his belt since making a return in March, Federer stopped the clock in London and became the oldest Wimbledon quarter-finalist in the Open era.

Federer met Hubert Hurkacz in a battle for the semi-final, and he could not do much against the young Pole. Hubert toppled the legend 6-3, 7-6, 6-0 in an hour and 48 minutes to sail into his first Major semi-final. Despite having more winners than unforced errors, Federer was far from the young rival's pace, struggling on serve and return and making too many errors.

The Swiss lost the ground in the third set to experience the first bagel since the 2008 Roland Garros final against Rafael Nadal! Mats Wilander praised Hubert following his stellar victory, saying he made Roger look like an ordinary player on the court where he has achieved so much in the past two decades.

Roger Federer won only nine games against Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon 2021.

Federer grabbed only one break and struggled to keep the pressure on the Pole in his games, getting broken five times from 15 chances offered to his opponent.

Hubert secured the advantage with a break at 3-2 in the opener and closed it with a service winner in game nine after swift 28 minutes. Eager to improve his game, Federer earned an early break in set number two before Hurkacz broke back at 2-4 with a deep return to regain confidence.

Roger did not play well in the tie break, struggling with his footwork and losing it 7-4 when Hubert fired two winners in the last two points. In one of his worst sets at Wimbledon, Federer grabbed only 15 points in the third set to experience a bagel and hit the exit door in the worst possible way, having nothing left in the tank against such a strong rival.

The Swiss underwent the third knee surgery soon after, and he is yet to make a return to the Tour. "Hurkacz was just too good. Federer is not at his best at the moment, but Hurkacz made him look ordinary for once; he is an outstanding player.

When you lack matches, you can have a bit of a lack of confidence. When your forehand is not working, it's not easy to fall back on the rest of your game when your number one strength is not working perfectly. The intimidation factor is starting to fade away with Federer, as it does for everyone.

But more than anything, Hurkacz played an unbelievably solid game, and he deserved to win. He handled the nerves extremely well," Mats Wilander said.

Roger Federer Wimbledon Hubert Hurkacz