Roger Federer failed to repeat the half-miracle of 2017, when he was able to outperform the competition after a six-month absence from the tour. The former world number 1 returned to Doha last March, hoping to reach top form in time for Wimbledon.
From his first releases, there was the distinct feeling of a Roger well below his usual standards. The Swiss phenomenon showed up in London in very precarious conditions, reaching the quarters thanks to a not impossible scoreboard.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion surrendered sharply to Hubert Hurkacz on Center Court, with the Pole handing him a sensational bagel in the third set. That was also the last match played by the King in 2021, as the Swiss resigned from the Tokyo Olympics due to a knee relapse.
A few weeks later, the 40-year-old from Basel announced that he had to operate again and ended his season. During a Q&A session on Instagram, Nick Kyrgios spent beautiful words for Roger Federer.
Nick Kyrgios has no doubts about the GOAT
The Australian said: "Roger Federer is the GOAT, there is no doubt about it.
I was really intimidated the first time I saw him, he has a superior aura to that of all the other players on the circuit. Roger is a great and friendly guy, as well as having a great sense of humor." Federer leads 6-1 in the head-to-head record against Kyrgios, who won their first head-to-head clash in Madrid in 2015.
Though gifted with immense class, Canberra's talent has fared far below expectations. "Motivation is my main daily battle. I don't plan anything in advance, I take things day by day," he admitted. Kyrgios did not have a good 2021, also due to some physical problems.
After the Laver Cup, Nick decided to return to Australia to get back in shape for the new season. Roger Federer should come back on the court for the beginning of the next season.