Fans are increasingly anxious about Roger Federer's future. His big goal of the season - namely Wimbledon - went on file with a quarter-final elimination at the hands of Hubert Hurkacz. A satisfactory result in itself considering the very few games played by the King in recent months, but the proportions of the defeat (complete with bagels in the third set) have raised numerous alarm bells.
In the last few hours, news has come that the Swiss will be absent from the Tokyo Olympics, which had already been partially announced during the last press conference in London. The 39-year-old from Basel referred to a new knee problem in his statement, saying he wants to be back on the pitch by the end of the summer.
The US Open could be the Maestro's goal, whose last appearance in New York dates back to 2019 (when he lost in the quarterfinals to Grigor Dimitrov). In a long interview granted to the 'Daily Mail', former ATP number 1 Boris Becker explained how the retirement of the Swiss is increasingly imminent.
Becker reflects on Roger Federer
"I have the feeling that he (Roger Federer) will not be back at Wimbledon this time next summer after what happened this week, which I think will have been a shock to him," Boris Becker said.
"Not just to Roger, because the pace of change at the top of the men's game has been rapid this year, and it will have taken Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal by surprise, if for different reasons." Becker claimed that while Djokovic is still at the top of his game, Federer and Nadal, alongside Andy Murray, would be worried about the rise of the next generation.
"One constant is that Djokovic is the last man standing from what we used to know as the Big Four," Becker said. "The other three - Andy Murray was once put in that bracket - have lots to contemplate, and the changing of the guard really is upon us.
Roger has earned the right to go out on the terms that he likes," Becker said. "He has been the most popular player ever and taken interest around the world to new heights, giving more to the game than anyone has done before.
I believe he was originally thinking of playing on well into next year, but I doubt that is the case now." Roger Federer returned to competitive action in Doha after spending more than a year recovering from multiple knee injuries.