Roger Federer cast doubt over if he will return to Wimbledon, admitting he doesn’t know if this will be his last appearance at The Championships.
Federer was greeted by a standing ovation as he left Centre Court following a one-sided 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-0 defeat to Hurkacz and it felt as if it could be a poignant end for it’s greatest male champion.
He will discuss his future at length after Wimbledon – which he says was always the plan – but he warned that nothing is set in stone and suggested this may well be it.
‘I don’t know. I really don’t know,’ said Federer when asked if he will play at Wimbledon next year. ‘I got to regroup. My goal was always for the last year and more to always try to play another Wimbledon. The initial goal, like you know, was to play last year. That was anyway never going to happen. Plus the pandemic hit.
‘I was able to make it this year, which I’m really happy about. Like I said, with everything that comes after Wimbledon, we were always going to sit down and talk about it because clearly now Wimbledon is over. I got to take a few days.
‘Obviously we’re going to speak a little bit tonight, depending on how I feel, then the next couple of days as well. Then we go from there. Just see, Okay, what do I need to do to get in better shape so I can be more competitive.
Hubert Hurkacz of Poland celebrates winning his men’s Singles Quarter Final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland on Day Nine of The Championships – Wimbledon 2021 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 07, 2021 in London, England.
Hurkacz is into the semi-finals (Picture: Getty)
‘I’m actually very happy I made it as far as I did here and I actually was able to play Wimbledon at the level that I did after everything I went through. Of course I would like to play it again, but at my age you’re just never sure what’s around the corner.
‘I can’t tell you anything more than that. I will sit down and hopefully make an announcement rather sooner than later, of course, also for me and everybody, my family and team, so forth.’
Federer, who made 31 unforced errors, looked far from a man who had won this title eight times in the past as Hurkacz put him to the sword on Centre Court.
The third set was particularly miserable as Federer was bagelled for just the second time in the 21st century. It was the first time he lost a set 6-0 at Wimbledon.
Hurkacz, who knocked out second seed Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round, deserves great credit for the manner of his display – sweeping Federer aside in an hour and 49 minutes – but Federer was bitterly disappointing.
Still, given he has had two rounds of knee surgery since his last appearance at the All England Club and is approaching his 40th birthday, a run to the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam is not a complete disaster.
And Federer, 39, took positives from the ‘tough’ loss.
‘I felt very disappointed in the moment itself. I still am,’ said Federer. At the same time there’s always a weight that falls off your shoulders when a tournament is over, when a huge goal is made or missed.
‘It doesn’t matter actually. You feel the weight is gone and you’re exhausted. I feel horribly exhausted. I could go for a nap right now. That’s how I feel.
‘It’s a funny feeling to have, to be honest. You put everything on the line, and when it’s all over you could just go sleep because you’re so exhausted from the mental, pushing yourself forward, and trying everything.
‘The last 18 months have been long and hard. Then again, if I take the perspective, I’m always very happy about a lot of things that happened the last few weeks, the last few months.
‘I know will be upbeat again shortly. I know how I am in these situations. I feel like I go maybe very hard on myself, I get very sad, and then go by a few hours, I mean, maybe even a few days, who knows, I don’t think so, then I’ll be totally fine again and be my old self.’
I just think I need to speak to the team, get it all out, hear what they have to say, tell them how I felt, and then we go from there.
Hurkacz, meanwhile, became just the second man from Poland to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam and will face Felix Auger-Aliassime or Matteo Berrettini on Friday.
‘It’s super special for me,’ said Hurkacz.
‘Playing here and the special things [Federer] has done here, it’s a dream come true.’