Roger Federer was greeted with a lot of applause at Wimbledon’s Centre Court. There isn’t one quite like it. This was not a celebration, and it didn’t happen at the end.
Federer said that it was a delay in the start of the quarterfinal game and felt more like a thank you or, just in case, a goodbye.
Eight-time All England Club champion Federer lost 6-3, 7-6 (4) and 6-0 to Hubert Hurkacz of Poland. This was a surprising result for Federer’s 22nd tournament appearance.
When asked if it was his last appearance here, he said: “I don’t know.” I don’t really know. I need to regroup.”
He said that retirement was not an option right away. … Play is the goal.
This was most likely the thought on the minds of thousands in the stadium as Federer took to the baseline to serve, trailing 5-0 in set 3. He waited while the full-to capacity stands cheered and applauded him, with some even rising to their feet.
It was over soon enough. Federer had only three shutouts in 429 Grand Slam matches. The other two were at the French Open.
Federer said, “The last few, obviously, you feel that you’re never coming back from them,” and he spoke calmly, not displaying any emotion during his news conference. “I don’t like that type of situation, obviously, very deeply.” Not here, especially.
Hurkacz, a Polish 24-year-old who calls Federer his idol was asked if he could have envisioned this outcome.
He replied, “Probably not.”
Yet, Federer was not the Federer we are used to seeing. In 2020, he had two operations on his right leg. He had played eight matches in this season’s tournament before he arrived at Wimbledon.
You should also consider Federer’s 40th birthday on Aug. 8. It’s possible that it would be too much to ask for Federer to make it to the final weekend. Even though this tournament is one he has won more than anyone else and on which he excels, it’s still contested on grass.
He was simply unable to summon the shot-making and serving that took him to 20 Grand Slam titles.
Federer said that he was happy that he made it this far and that Wimbledon was at the same level as before. He also reiterated that he is still undecided about whether a trip to Tokyo Olympics is in his future plans. “Officially, I’d love to play (Wimbledon), again, but at my age you just never know what’s next.”
Friday’s opponent for Hurkacz will be No. 7 Matteo Berrettini, an Italian player who defeated No. 16 Felix Auger – Aliassime from Canada reached his second major semifinal 6-3, 5-7 and 7-5.
Hurkacz has never reached the third round in any Slam.
Friday’s semifinal will be played in the second half of the draw. No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic will face No. 10 Denis Shapovalov.
Djokovic lost three games consecutively to Marton Fucsovics, 48th in the rankings, after racing to a 5-0 advantage at the start Wednesday. Five set points were also lost in the process. Djokovic quickly recovered and defeated Fucsovics 6-3.
The 34-year old from Serbia was able to pursue his sixth Wimbledon championship and third consecutively, as well as a 20th major trophy.
Djokovic has a 19-0 record at majors this season, as he seeks to become the first calendar-year Grand Slam winner since Rod Laver in 1969. Djokovic won both the Australian Open and the French Open in February.
Djokovic stated, “I’m not following anybody.” “I am creating my own path, my own journey, and my own history.
No. 25 Karen Khachanov, Russia, 6-4. 3-6. 5-7. 6-1. 6-4. Then, we looked forward to Djokovic.
Shapovalov (a Canadian left-hander of 22 years old) stated, “I believe that I have what it takes to beat him.”
Hurkacz seemed quite at ease on this unfamiliar stage. He performed brilliantly with 36 winners and 12 unforced mistakes.
“Obviously, it was nerve-wracking. Hurkacz stated that Roger’s quarterfinal in Grand Slam is a huge deal for him. “But I tried to remain as calm as possible.”
Federer seemed to finally make some progress in the second set, leading 3-0.
Federer thought afterward, “Got to find some way to win it somehow.”
Hurkacz, however, refused to concede.
Unaffected by the stakes or the foe, Hurkacz won four of the next five games to even at 4-all. He also broke along the way with a forehand return of 101 mph that earned a netted backhand.
The tiebreaker was preceded by loud chants “Let’s Go, Roger!” Let’s Go!” and rhythmic tapping — it was more the same: Federer stumbles and Hurkacz hits his spots.
Federer declared, “Brutal.”
He lost his footing on one of his forays to the net and missed what could’ve been a simple volley.
The third set flew by in a flash. Federer was unable to make a forehand wide enough to close the set. He quickly packed his bags and raced toward the locker room, waving and giving a thumbs up.
Now that it’s over, we need to reevaluate everything. It’s time to take a seat and talk about what went well. What went well? Where is the body? Where is the knee? Federer said, “Where is the mind?” Federer will be meeting with his coaches and other members his team. “It was difficult for me, as you can see.”