It would be useless to deny that Roger Federer hoped to arrive at Wimbledon in very different conditions. The Swiss champion will come to London with only eight matches played in the last year and a half, combined with a far from satisfactory balance sheet (five wins against three defeats).
The latest defeat was certainly the most alarming, because it took place on the favorite terrain of the 20-time Grand Slam champion. For the first time since 2001, King Roger exited the scene in Halle before the quarter-finals.
His path was abruptly interrupted in the second round at the hands of Felix Auger-Aliassime, who left him the crumbs in the second and third sets. Suffice it to say that the 39-year-old from Basel has earned only one break point in the entire game, an emblematic sign of the current difficulties of the former ATP number 1.
With the exception of the serve, Federer seemed far behind in all other aspects of the game, as well as having some problems with physical stability. It is likely that the round of 16 at Roland Garros had deceived both him and the team of him.
When questioned on the subject after his elimination at the Queen's, his former rival Andy Murray - who has had to deal with a lot of injuries in recent seasons - encouraged the Maestro not to stop trying.
Andy Murray on Roger Federer's status
"I don’t know exactly what Roger Federer’s situation is," Andy Murray said after his loss to Matteo Berrettini at Queen's.
"But I know from my own experience that it’s not easy coming back and playing after such a long period out. When you’re used to playing at such a high level pretty much every time you step on the court for like – well, for him, it’s probably been like 20 years almost at the top of the game, and to come out and not be playing that way and probably seeing the shots you want to play and just not being able to execute them."
Murray said coming up against a player of Auger-Aliassime's caliber was never going to be easy for Roger Federer, given the Canadian's hard-hitting style of play. "Felix is another guy that has a huge serve and goes for his shots.
You know, you’re kind of wanting to get into a bit of a rhythm and it’s not happening, so it can be hard," Murray said. "I understand why it would be frustrating for Federer, but I’m sure he will work it out," Murray added.
‘It’s different playing at Slams. It’s not the same as competing at the other tournaments, and certainly I don’t think for the other players, like stepping on court with somebody like him at Wimbledon will be different. Yeah, I think he’ll figure stuff out."