Roger Federer 'in advanced talks' for commentary role at Wimbledon

The Swiss legend announced his sad retirement from tennis in September last year.

Roger Federer, pictured here with John McEnroe at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer could be set to join John McEnroe on BBC's coverage of Wimbledon. Image: Getty

Roger Federer is reportedly 'in advanced talks' to join the BBC's commentary crew for Wimbledon this year. The Swiss legend announced his sad retirement from tennis in September last year after he abandoned plans to make a return to the ATP tour due to a knee injury.

According to Simon Briggs of The Telegraph in the UK, the All England Club is heavily courting Federer for a role in the BBC's commentary team for the grass-court grand slam in July. Briggs reported on Friday that "talks are in the advanced stage" to bring Federer on board.

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On the eve of the final event of his career at the Laver Cup last year, Federer hinted that we might hear him in the commentary box in the near future. "I never thought I would say this," he told reporters. "But six months ago, I suddenly thought commentating on tennis someday. Who knows.

"Although I always said I would never do that. But to commentate on some matches at Wimbledon...

“Commentating the odd match or giving back in this way, I guess I could imagine it. Sometimes you watch matches because of the commentary and less about the match itself.”

The BBC copped a raft of backlash last year when it tried to reinvent its Wimbledon coverage with a daily studio audience show on the Top Gear set. This year, Clare Balding and Isa Guha (more known for horse racing and cricket) will reportedly join the coverage after long-time broadcaster Sue Barker announced her retirement.

Federer's presence would undoubtedly be a huge boost, with the Swiss legend still one of the most popular athletes in the world. It would be an emotional return for the eight-time Wimbledon champion after his dream of playing the grand slam one last time in 2023 was ruined by his knee issues.

Speaking during an appearance at Wimbledon last year, the 41-year-old said he had been hoping to play the tournament in 2023 amid an attempt to launch a comeback to the ATP tour. However he soon realised that his surgically-repaired knee wasn't going to hold up to the rigours of the tour and announced that the Laver Cup would be his farewell.

He played one final doubles match with Rafa Nadal before breaking down in tears in emotional scenes. He later revealed that Nadal had flown to London just to play in the match, making the difficult decision to leave his pregnant wife while she was in hospital in Spain.

Roger Federer hilariously denied entry into Wimbledon

Federer will be hoping his return to Wimbledon goes a little smoother than the last time he visited the All England Club. In a recent appearance on The Daily Show, the 20-time grand slam champion revealed how he was denied entry by a security guard when he tried to make a quick trip to the venue in London.

“I drive up to the gate where usually guests would come in. So I get out, and I tell my coach who was with me, ‘I’ll quickly go out and speak to the security lady. I got this,’” he recalled.

“So then I get out and I’m like, ‘Hello I was wondering how I could get into Wimbledon?’ She asked if I had a membership card. When you win Wimbledon, you become a member automatically. And honestly I don’t know about membership cards, they are probably at home somewhere and I’ve just been travelling so I had no idea.

Roger Federer, pictured here waving to the crowd during an appearance at Wimbledon in 2022.
Roger Federer waves to the crowd during an appearance at Wimbledon in 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

"I told her, ‘No I don’t have my membership card, but I am a member. I’m just wondering where I can get in'. I’m like, ‘No, I am a member and normally when I’m here, I’m playing. And now it’s the first time the tournament is not on and I’m here.’ I look at her in a panic one last time, and say, ‘I’m so sorry but I have won this tournament eight times, please, believe me, I am a member."

Federer was still turned down, but a second attempt at a different gate yielded better results. “The security guard standing there says, ‘Oh my god, Mr. Federer what are you doing here? Do you have your membership card? I said I don’t, but the security guard let me in and organised it all," Federer said.

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