At 38, Roger Federer was still among the players to beat in 2019 and the beginning of 2020. The Swiss maestro reached the Australian Open semi-final in January last year before experiencing a nasty knee injury that required two surgeries.
Federer started to practice again in the closing stages of 2020, pushing hard to recover in time for the Australian Open. As we all know, the Swiss couldn't get back at his best by February, picking Doha in March as the return point.
With the grass season on his mind, Roger played three tournaments ahead of Halle, hoping to chase the 11th title at one of his favorite events. Instead of that, Federer lost in the second round to Felix Auger-Aliassime, experiencing the earliest Halle exit and traveling to London with question marks above his head.
Playing at only his fifth tournament since February last year, Roger earned four wins to become the oldest Wimbledon quarter-finalist in the Open era, setting the clash against Hubert Hurkacz.
Roger Federer felt he could beat Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon.
Hoping for another good run and a triumph of experience over youth, Federer experienced a tough 6-3, 7-6, 6-0 loss in an hour and 48 minutes.
The Swiss lost the ground in the third set to experience the first bagel since the 2008 Roland Garros final against Rafael Nadal, having nothing more left in the tank after squandering his chances in the second! Playing in his first Major quarter-final, Hubert grabbed a break at 3-2 and closed the opener with an unreturned serve in game nine in under half an hour.
Federer raised his level in the second set to build a 4-1 lead before Hurkacz pulled the break back in game seven. Roger didn't play well in the tie break, struggling with his footwork and losing when Hubert fired two winners at 5-4.
In one of his worst sets at Wimbledon and in a career in general, Federer took only 15 points in the third set to experience a bagel and hit the exit door in the worst possible way, unable to follow the rival's pace and leaving the court mighty disappointed.
"I thought I had a decent chance going into the match against Hubert. I felt like if I can protect my serve, I would get opportunities off his second serve and set rallies as I would like. But I struggled early on in that first set.
I felt like my rhythm was a bit off behind the initial shot. I put myself in too many difficult situations and didn't take my own chances. I feel like I needed to do better in the opener. Also, I have to give Hubert credit for getting that one done.
I had to find a way to win the second set, especially from 4-1 up. I was 4-2 down in the tie break and served against the wind, knowing that wouldn't end well. Things got complicated when he forged two sets to love advantage. He was the better player by far in the end, and he deserved the victory," Roger Federer said.