Fans expected more from Roger Federer in Wednesday's match against Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon. The Swiss phenomenon offered one of his worst performances on Center Court, a feeling that is confirmed in the 6-3 7-6 (4) 6-0 scored by the Pole.
The former world number 1 was unable to show notable progress compared to Roland Garros, breaking the pass for the quarters thanks also to a not impossible scoreboard. It should also be remembered that the 39-year-old from Basel was two sets to one behind on his debut against Adrian Mannarino, before an unfortunate accident forced the Frenchman to raise the white flag.
Many people wonder if we will see King Roger again on the lawns of Church Road, a question that not even Federer himself has been able to answer. Toni Nadal, who has been Rafael's coach for more than a decade, analyzed the situation of the 20-time Grand Slam champion in his column on 'El Pais'
A parallel could not be missing with the defeat of Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.
Toni Nadal on Roger Federer
"It is clear that for both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, their respective defeats are somewhat more harrowing than in any other setting," Toni Nadal wrote in his column.
"And, hence the tone of the Swiss in the press conference that followed the match against the Pole, who not only eliminated him from the British Grand Slam but also did so with a resounding result. When asked by journalists if that had been his last match on the grass in London, Federer did not clear up the unknowns.
He expressed his need to value and think, and I think he did well," Toni wrote. Toni then said he hoped Federer would bid goodbye to each of the four Grand Slams properly when the time comes. "I believe that he, as well as Novak and Rafael, will decide to retire the day they feel they have no chance of victory.
When Roger decides that that day has come, hopefully he will do so by saying goodbye one by one and, at least, of the four Grand Slams," Toni wrote. "Both he and his millions of followers deserve another meeting in which they can dedicate the ovation and tribute to him for all that he has meant for our sport."
While it’s likely that Federer, Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the three contemporary giants of men’s tennis, won’t take the curtain call at the same time, they are all in the twilight of their careers. And the day isn’t far when they will head on to the other side.