Roger Federer's return to grass after nearly two years lasted much shorter than expected. The former world number 1, who had not convinced on his debut in Halle on Monday, surrendered in comeback to the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.
In addition to being harmless in response for most of the match (only one break point available), the Swiss champion also suffered from a worrying decline in the decisive run. Certainly not an encouraging sign when there are about ten days to go to Wimbledon, his great goal of the season.
The impression is that - when he does not find support from the bar - the 39-year-old from Basel is having a hard time winning the rallies from the bottom line. Speaking to reporters after his Benoit Paire success at the Queen's, three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray stressed that a legend like Roger should have the power to decide when to quit.
The British veteran has had to deal with numerous injuries in recent years, so much so that he has thought about his definitive retirement from competitive activity.
Andy Murray on Federer's retirement
Andy Murray said that his only wish for Roger Federer is that he keeps on playing as long as his body carries him through matches and tournaments.
“‘He’s been brilliant, and I hope he keeps playing for as long as he can. Yeah, I just don’t quite understand, because I have experienced it myself, this sort of why people want to always ask those questions about when someone is going to finish.
Like, he’ll do it when he’s ready,” Murray said. In the eight years that followed, Federer has added several titles, including Grand Slams, to his name. “I have heard quite a few times over the years that he was going to stop and people have been speculating on that different times over – remember when he lost to Tommy Robredo at the US Open, people talking about that then.
I don’t know if that was like eight, nine years ago or something,” Murray said. “I don’t know whether he’s going to stop playing this year or not. I’d be surprised if he did the way that he is still able to play and compete.
He seems like he still loves it,” the Briton said. Roger Federer's return-of-serve was non-existent on Wednesday. The Swiss managed to win only 14 out of 69 points on the Canadian's serve. Auger-Aliassime committed two double faults, meaning Federer could win only 12 points on the Canadian's serve of his own accord.
Four of those came in the game he broke, meaning he managed a paltry 10 points on Auger-Aliassime's serve in the remaining 13 games. Alarmingly, this does not amount to even one point per return game. This does not bode well for his chances at Wimbledon.