Since February last year, Roger Federer has played only 13 matches, struggling with a knee injury and doing his best to extend his career. The Swiss returned to the court in March in Doha and had to think about every single move to get back at 100% and get the rhythm without stressing his knee.
Federer played well at Roland Garros to reach the fourth round, withdrawing to rest his knee ahead of the grass season, where he hoped to chase titles. Instead of that, Roger suffered an early loss in Halle and experienced a tough defeat at Wimbledon.
After the All England Club campaign, Federer said he knew it wouldn't be easy to beat the young rivals, calling his experience a struggle. The veteran didn't play well against Ilya Ivashka in the opening round in Halle before Felix Auger-Aliassime beat him 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, following a dominant display in sets two and three.
Roger Federer described his grass campaign.
At Wimbledon, the veteran became the oldest player in the quarter-final thanks to victories over Adrian Mannarino, Richard Gasquet, Cameron Norrie and Lorenzo Sonego. Still, Hubert Hurkacz proved to be a challenging obstacle, beating Roger 6-3, 7-0, 6-0 and delivering one of his most brutal losses at Majors.
Federer was a break in front in set number two before the Pole erased the deficit and claimed the tie break. Federer had nothing left in the tank in the third set, experiencing the first bagel since 2008 and raising concerns ahead of the remaining events of the season, as his knee still hurts.
"It's just about having perspective. You know you need a goal when you're going through rehab with what I did. You can't think of the entire mountain to climb at once; you got to go in steps. Wimbledon was the initial first super step if you like.
That step is over, and you have to reassess everything. Halle and Wimbledon were a struggle for me, as I had to put in an extra effort every time, especially when things get difficult against Felix or Hurkacz. I knew it was going to be really hard, to be honest.
Now I just got to talk to the team, take my time, not feel rushed by you guys or anybody else, for that matter. I got to take my time and make the right decision, the one I want to take and where I feel most comfortable," Roger Federer said.