On this day: Roger Federer plays last singles match of his career

Roger Federer fell to Hubert Hurkacz in the 2021 Wimbledon quarter-final

by Jovica Ilic
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On this day: Roger Federer plays last singles match of his career
© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

On July 7, 2021, the eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer competed in the quarter-final at the All England Club for the 18th time! The Swiss veteran became the oldest Wimbledon quarter-finalist in the Open era but could not do more and remain on the title course.

Roger faced Hubert Hurkacz in a battle for the semi-final and suffered a 6-3, 7-6, 6-0 loss in an hour and 48 minutes. Federer injured his knee at the beginning of 2020, undergoing two surgeries in February and May and missing the rest of the season.

Roger returned to action in Doha in March 2021, playing two matches and embracing the clay swing in Geneva and Roland Garros. Federer withdrew from Paris after a tight win over Dominik Koepfer, taking care of his knee and wishing to preserve it for his beloved grass swing.

Roger suffered an early Halle exit to Felix Auger-Aliassime, feeling the pain in his knee and heading to Wimbledon with low expectations.

Roger Federer, Wimbledon 2021© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The veteran left all the issues behind and stopped the clock at his beloved Major, beating four rivals and entering the last eight as the oldest player in the Open era.

However, Roger experienced a heavy loss to Hubert, missing his chances in the second set and losing a set 6-0 for the first time since the 2008 Roland Garros final! It was Federer's final singles match in his outstanding career.

A couple of weeks later, he underwent another surgery and never returned to competitive tennis. Roger witnessed his most brutal Wimbledon loss since 2002 when qualifier Mario Ancic beat him in straight sets. Hurkacz had the upper hand, erasing a deficit in the second set and leaving the legend and his idol behind.

Federer scored one break and got broken five times, three in the third set. The Pole tamed his strokes superbly, firing over 30 winners and staying under 15 unforced errors. Hurkacz generated 14 break points, seizing four and advancing into his first Major semi-final.

Hubert Hurkacz & Roger Federer, Wimbledon 2021© Pool / Pool - Getty Images Sport

Roger Federer played his last singles match on this day three years ago.

Hubert had the upper hand in the shortest, mid-range and most extended rallies, leaving his rival behind and standing as the last player who defeated Roger Federer.

The Pole held after a deuce in the first game of the encounter, and the Swiss responded with a forehand winner in game two for 1-1. Hurkacz closed the third game with an ace and made a push on the return in the next one. Roger hit a double fault in the fourth game, facing three break points and denying them with winners.

The veteran held with an unreturned serve, leveling the score at 2-2 and avoiding an early setback. Hubert left those chances behind and fired three service winners in the fifth game, moving 3-2 in front and testing Roger on the return in the next one.

The younger player created a break chance and seized it with a backhand volley winner, moving 4-2 in front and settling into a fine rhythm.

Roger Federer, Wimbledon 2021© Pool / Pool - Getty Images Sport

Hurkacz cemented the lead with a hold at 15 in game seven, opening a 5-2 gap and forcing Federer to serve to stay in the set.

The eight-time champion closed the eighth game in style, landing four winners and prolonging the battle. However, Hubert served well at 5-3, firing a service winner to secure the first part of the duel after 28 minutes. Federer served well in the first game of the opener, bringing it home with service winners.

He raised his level on the return in game two, generating three break points and seizing the third after Hubert's double fault. Roger had to dig deep to cement the lead, facing three break points in the third game and denying them with winners en route to 3-0.

Hurkacz closed the fourth game after a deuce and stayed within one break deficit with an ace at 2-4. The Pole kicked off the seventh game with a return winner and welcomed the Swiss' two unforced errors for three break chances.

Roger Federer, Wimbledon 2021© Pool / Pool - Getty Images Sport

Federer hit a forced error on the second, losing serve and returning his opponent to the positive side. Hubert locked the result at 4-4 with a service winner a few minutes later and provided a fine hold while serving to stay in the set two games later.

They produced comfortable holds in games 11 and 12, introducing a tie break. Hurkacz clinched it 7-4 with a service winner, opening a massive two sets to love advantage and moving closer to the finish line. Federer struggled behind the initial shot in the second game of the third set, defending two break points and squandering two game points.

Hurkacz stayed composed and converted the third break chance, moving in front and producing a quick hold for 3-0. Roger sprayed a forehand error in the fourth game, getting broken for the second straight time and sending his opponent closer to the finish line.

Hubert saved a break point in the fifth game, closing it and forcing Roger to serve to stay in the match at 0-5. The 20-time Major winner could not avoid his first bagel in 13 years, playing a loose forehand and ending his career in the worst way.

Roger Federer Hubert Hurkacz Wimbledon
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