'Never sure': Roger Federer's cryptic hint at Wimbledon farewell

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Roger Federer admits there are doubts about his future after his Wimbledon exit. Pic: Getty
Roger Federer admits there are doubts about his future after his Wimbledon exit. Pic: Getty

Tennis fans have been left hoping and praying they haven't seen the last of Roger Federer at Wimbledon after the Swiss great suffered a never-before-seen humbling in the quarter-finals.

The 20-time Grand Slam title winner lost 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) 6-0 to Hubert Hurkacz in a match that marked the first time ever that Federer suffered a bagel at the All England Club.

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It was only the eight-time Wimbledon champion's 14th defeat at the tournament in 119 matches and his first straight-sets loss since an opening round exit against Mario Ancic in 2002.

It was also just the third time at a Slam that Federer has lost a set 6-0.

The other two occasions both came at the French Open - against Pat Rafter in 1999 and Rafael Nadal in 2008.

With his recent injury problems and the fact Federer turns 40 in five weeks, many tennis fans are wondering whether this was the last time he graced the courts at the All England Club.

"I don't know if we'll ever see the great man again here," sighed another triple champ Boris Becker, echoing the sentiments of the whole Centre Court.

And Federer himself had to agree. "I don't know, I really don't know. I've got to regroup," he told a news conference when asked if he'd be back on his favourite lawn.

"Of course, I'd like to play it again but at my age you never know what's around the corner."

Retirement soon perhaps? "I gotta take my time, take the right decision, the one decision I want to take where I feel most comfortable," he shrugged.

"But, no, I hope that that's not going to happen. The goal is to play, of course."

Tennis fans were loathe to entertain the possibility that it was Federer's last appearance at Wimbledon.

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Federer is now without a Slam since the 2018 Australian Open but he had two match points to beat Novak Djokovic in the epic 2019 Wimbledon final.

"Clearly there's still a lot of things missing in my game that maybe 10, 15, 20 years ago were very simple and very normal for me to do,' he added ruefully.

Federer had only played eight matches this year before Wimbledon as he recovered from two knee surgeries in 2020.

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"Of course I would like to play it again, but at my age you're just never sure what's around the corner," Federer said.

"I will take my time, not feel rushed by you guys or anybody else. I got to take my time, take the right decision, the one decision I want to take and where I feel most comfortable.

"The team and me were actually very happy I made it as far as the quarters here. That's how it goes. I'll be fine. I have perspective about it, so it's all good."

Those discussions will now likely centre on Federer's participation in the Olympic Games in Tokyo which start in just over two weeks' time.

"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.

"Just see, Okay, what do I need to do to get in better shape so I can be more competitive."

Seen here, Roger Federer thanks fans after leaving Centre Court at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer was ousted in the Wimbledon quarter-finals in straight sets. Pic: Getty

World No.18 Hurkacz, 24, had never gone beyond the third round of a Grand Slam before this Wimbledon.

However, boosted by having defeated world number two Daniil Medvedev in five sets in the last 16, he was a break up on a sluggish-looking Federer in the sixth game of the opening set.

The Swiss star carved out a break for 2-0 in the second set.

He couldn't hang on and Hurkacz levelled in the seventh game from 1-4 down before dominating the tiebreak.

Federer looked punch drunk and he was quickly down 0-2 in the third set before Hurkacz wrapped up the decider in just 29 minutes.

He is only the second Polish man to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon - Jerzy Janowicz being the other in 2013.

Up next is a clash with Matteo Berrettini of Italy for a place in the Wimbledon decider.

"Roger was congratulating me and wishing good luck for the next matches," said Hurkacz.

"Obviously walking off the court realising that I won against Roger, I mean, just kind of a dream come true, especially here on grass in Wimbledon.

"Felt so special with the crowd around as well."

with agencies

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