Wimbledon

Roger Federer, the late London charlatan



HENever get used to seeing the idols of our childhood hanging on the phone. It was the same with the announcement on Thursday that Roger Federer was retiring. With his genius strokes, uniquely elegant style and 20 Grand Slam titles, the Swiss is a legend not only of tennis but also of sport. Time immediately becomes more precious when we immerse ourselves in the final moments of his career: his every appearance and appearance on the court has been closely watched with the concern of seeing this day come. For the Basel native, the final round of applause in the tournament so this will be Wimbledon 2021 and we often regret it when we talk about Federer.

At the dawn of his 40th birthday, Roger Federer still wanted to believe it and cling to this crazy dream: to push his limits, to be 21.to He was crowned the Grand Slam and also became the oldest player to win such an important tournament. But that record, held by Ken Rosewall, who won the Australian Open at the age of 37 in 1972, made it an ambitious target for an injury-stricken Swiss. However, with Roger Federer you always have to believe that. Flashy Switzerland, like its brilliant victory over Rafael Nadal in the final in Melbourne in 2017, still has a small reservoir. If he protects himself by carefully choosing the tournaments he goes to at the end of his career, “Fedex” realizes that the options are limited to reach his goals and get back to the top of the world.

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Roger Federer is betting big on his eight-time victorious garden, Wimbledon. The year 2021 is minimalist on the courts: after giving up on the Australian Open, the Swiss return to Doha, where he passed one round. His career on the ground is limited to Geneva, where he lost his entry against Andujar, then spent three rounds at Roland-Garros before losing to protect his right knee. So the old-world number one comes to England, with few certainties, but with the ambition to piss off Novak Djokovic, who has been accustomed to occupying the London throne in recent years.

Federer’s career at Wimbledon could have ended in the first round: The Swiss were pushed into the fifth set after facing the over-excited Adrian Mannarino, but the Frenchman was injured in the slide. Not far from breeding, the Swiss can breathe. The following matches went smoothly: victory in three sets against Richard Gasquet, success in four sets against Briton Cameron Norrie, then control 16 against Lorenzo Sonego. A priori, quarter-final rival Hubert Hurkacz should not be an insurmountable obstacle: the Pole has never done better than the third round at a grand slam in his career.

A bone named Hurkacz

While all observers saw him for a tempting shock against Djokovic in the final, Federer will go to the bone. Hurkacz will cause many problems for Basel on a day of grace. With 79% of first serves and 10 aces, it is difficult to move the Pole. For his part, King Roger is faltering and 30 forehand fouls won’t help him in a day without him. After the first loss of service, the eight-time Wimbledon winner is revolting and leading 3-0. But that wave of pride will not materialize: Federer has been caught and losing the second set in the tie-break dampens hopes. Federer’s last steps on the London floor will not go down in history: 0-6 seconds in the third set, which is the end of their hopes and an end that no fans dreamed of.

Then no one would suspect that we won’t be seeing Roger Federer at a Grand Slam. The interested party, which was approved by the Central Court, preserved the mystery of what happened after this bitter defeat. “My greatest victories and my greatest defeats have taken place here. I will try to come back as a player. I’m really happy to have made it this far in the tournament, and even after everything I’ve been through, to be able to play Wimbledon at this level. Of course I would love to play again, but at my age you never know what might happen. However, the Swiss will no longer have the opportunity to play again. After giving up the Tokyo Olympics, he still hoped to get back in better shape after a new surgery on his right knee.

Weeks and months go by and Roger Federer still doesn’t come back. He even disappeared from the ATP standings for the first time in 25 years and made his debut on the track. Fourteen months and ten days have passed since July 7, 2021, and therefore King Roger has definitely closed his racket. Obviously, with a career like this, we won’t remember this failure against Hurkacz, who hasn’t performed better in a grand slam since. The shock wave caused by the announcement of his retirement is enough to show the aura that Switzerland still has today. The Laver Cup, which will be held from September 23-25, will therefore be an opportunity to get into a full cycle. One last round so the Federian magic can work a little longer before it orphans us for a while.

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