The King of Grass (well, pretty much all courts) has been dominating our hearts and minds for years now. But, as Roger Federer turns 40, the question of his future plans looms larger than ever.
In a game where players typically retire in their late 30s, Federer has been one of the handful who has continued to play at every major tennis tournament even now into his early 40’s. Plus, he’s winning most of them.
The Hubert Hurkacz defeat
But recently, in a shocking turn of events, Federer lost the title to Polish player Hubert Hurkacz, who was seeded at number 18 in Wimbledon and number 29 at the French Open.
This brought Federer’s bid to win his ninth Wimbledon title and 21st Grand Slam crown to a sudden and dramatic end. It was a nail biting, edge of the seat finish that involved a straight-sets victory. The game ended in a 3-6, 6-7(4), 0-6 in favor of Hurkacz.
This unexpected loss of the match prompted many, including tennis legends like Boris Becker and Greg Rusedski to wonder if the Hurkacz match was the very last for Rodger Federer in Wimbledon? Will the world see the King play on his favorite and most successful court again?
Not only is the prospect of not seeing Federer again in Wimbledon absolutely heartbreaking for fans. But sports betting players too will find gambling in the state of Wyoming and other places in the US very challenging. With Seed number 1 cast out of the running by Seed 18, the game is now wide open and anyone’s to win.
From the King himself
In an interview with the press just after his match with Hurkacz, Federer stated he wasn’t really sure what he would do next year. It all depends, he said, on what his body tells him.
His initial goal was to have competed in the 2020 edition of the tennis tournament to nab his titles – a plan which was derailed due to the coronavirus pandemic. With the 2021 edition of the tournament not having gone as planned, Federer said it’s time to head back to the drawing board and discuss with his team, if he should continue and participate in Wimbledon 2022.
When asked about his feelings at a relative newcomer having taken him out of the running for his Grand Slam title and Wimbledon title, Federer said he’s quite happy and proud of his performance. Given his post-surgery knee recuperation – which has been a struggle the past few years – Federer confirmed that he was very impressed with the level of play he exhibited during the challenging finals match.
The Wimbledon aspect aside, many are wondering whether this loss may force Federer to retire for good in 2021 or 2022. In a commentary about the match, Boris Becker spoke about the obvious mis-hits in Federer’s game. A game, Becker clarifies, did not reflect the Swiss legend at his best. In the commentary, Becker goes further to wonder if fans will see Federer’s true greatness again.
On his part, Federer is not concerned about the “what-ifs” of his game right now. What he wants is for the speculations to die down. For now, he stated at the post-match press conference, the time has come to recovery and re-focus on what’s best for him and his career. Any decision regarding his official retirement from tennis will be made prior to next year’s Wimbledon.
Closer to the US Open, the tennis legend announced his withdrawal from the tournament, citing a third knee surgery and painful recovery as the reasons.
Where can fans see Federer play next?
As far as Federer’s plans go, he does intend to return to the courts. A man who’s powered by the high-excitement of the crowd, he stated that his “worst year” was finally over and now he could focus on a better future in tennis. His knee, he says, has healed well and he’s feeling very strong. His first goal is participating in London’s Laver Cup in 2022. So, fans can expect to see Rodger Federer heading to the UK next year.