Wimbledon 2021 showed us that Roger Federer is still capable of competing on the tour, but it also highlighted how far he is from top form. The Basel veteran left the stage in the quarter-finals at the hands of Hubert Hurkacz, who won in three sets by giving him a bagel that speaks volumes about the King's current difficulties.
The 39-year-old Swiss left Center Court after receiving a beautiful standing ovation, for what was perhaps his last performance in the Cathedral of tennis. During the post-match press conference, the former world number 1 questioned his participation in the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The five-circle event will be held behind closed doors, following the increase in infections in Japan in recent weeks. The Swiss had also missed the event in 2016, when a series of physical troubles forced him to stop for about six months.
The list of absentees in Tokyo is already very long, including the likes of Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios, Stan Wawrinka, Jannik Sinner, Serena Williams and Simona Halep. In a recent interview with the 'Daily Mail', WTA legend Chris Evert outlined what Roger should do if he intends to continue playing.
Chris Evert talks about Roger Federer
While the Swiss star has set an example for the new generation of players on the tour, former tennis player Chris Evert believes Roger Federer needs to work harder should he continue to compete.
She said, “If he’s going to come back, he’s got to work harder than he’s ever worked before and he’s got to realise there are a lot of young guys coming up who are dangerous… It’s going to be tougher and tougher.
If he wants to play, he’s going to have to deal with more losses”. Toni Nadal, who was Rafael Nadal's coach for more than a decade, drew parallels between Federer's defeat and his nephew's loss to Novak Djokovic in the Roland Garros semifinals a few weeks ago.
"It is clear that for both Roger and Rafa, 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.