Roger Federer fell in the second round of the Halle tournament, leaving the scene before the quarter-finals as he hadn't done for exactly 20 years. Beyond the three-set defeat at the hands of Felix Auger-Aliassime, the Swiss champion appeared in great difficulty in the third set, flaunting a body language that leaves little room for optimism.
Ten days after the start of Wimbledon, his main goal of the season, it is legitimate to wonder if the former world number 1 can really reach the end. As far as we have seen so far, the answer is no. The 39-year-old from Basel seemed to be growing at Roland Garros, where he reached the second round, only to retire on the eve of the match against Matteo Berrettini.
A decision that many had criticized, especially in the absence of a real injury. During an interview granted to the Brazilian portal 'Tenis News', the three-time Paris champion Gustavo Kuerten defended the choice of King Roger, hoping to see him in top form at the Championships.
Kuerten on Roger Federer's goals
"It was a very wise decision by Roger Federer," said Gustavo Kuerten. "His decision is tough. For the people who are following the tournament, for him as well. He is there to play, and not just to walk around.
He likes to compete, it's a Grand Slam. He understands very clearly how far he can go so as not to damage his career and give everyone a return in the long run. Federer's biggest chance is at Wimbledon, we're hoping that he can achieve the big dream," Kuerten said.
"Maybe one or two more Wimbledons with real chances. Federer was one point away from winning two years ago, the title was his, but he lost the hard way, it would be too sad to be this is the last big moment of his career in a Slam.
I really hope he has a spectacular Wimbledon and wins the tournament, it would be great." The 44-year-old declared that he would like to see the Swiss end his career on a high like Pete Sampras did after winning his 14th and final Major at the US Open in 2002.
"They (Big 3) have dreams and goals to reach," Kuerten said. "If he realizes that he has no chance of winning a Grand Slam anymore, he's going to stop. Now if he does like Sampras, who after winning, decided to stop, it would be excellent.
All that's left is to say thank you. These guys are formidable, I just hope they keep playing tennis."