Roger Federer crashes out of Wimbledon after humbling Hurkacz defeat
Roger Federer’s quest for a ninth Wimbledon singles title is over after he was comprehensively swept aside in straight sets by Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals.
Aged 39 years and 337 days, Federer was aiming to become the oldest man in the Open era to reach the semi-finals at SW19, but was ousted 6-3, 7-6, 6-0 by an inspired Hurkacz.
It brought an abrupt end to the eight-time champion’s 22nd appearance at the All England Club, with many hoping it is not the final time he will grace Centre Court.
This was Federer’s 18th Wimbledon quarter-final, while his opponent was appearing at this stage of a Grand Slam for the first time.
But it was the debutant who settled quicker; breaking in game six on the way to taking the opening set.
The second went to a tie-break, in which untimely errors crept into Federer’s game and 14th seed Hurkacz took full advantage to double his lead.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion had not lost in straight sets at Wimbledon since 2002.
However, that long run was broken in comprehensive fashion as the Pole ran away with the third to love; the first such set to go against Federer here.
In doing so, Hurkacz becomes only the second player from his nation to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals after Jerzy Janowicz in 2013.
He will now play Matteo Berrettini, who is the first Italian to advance to the last four here in over 60 years after beating Felix Auger-Aliassime in four sets.
Appearing in his second successive quarter-final of a Slam having also gone this far at the French Open last month, the Queen’s Club champion secured a 10th straight win as he hit 12 aces on route to victory.
Meanwhile, reigning champion Novak Djokovic remained on course for a sixth Wimbledon crown after overcoming Marton Fucsovics in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Playing in the last eight of a Slam for the 50th time, Djokovic took just 20 minutes to race into a 5-0 lead in the opening set, which he comfortably saw out despite being pegged back to 5-3.
Fucsovics, who took out Andrey Rublev, Diego Schwartzman and Jannik Sinner during the earlier rounds, was the first Hungarian to appear at this stage of Wimbledon since 1959.
But crucial breaks in the next two subsequently paved the way for the Serb, who has now won 15 without reply while registered his 100th tour victory on grass.
Two matches away from a record-equalling 20th Slam, Djokovic faces 10th seed Denis Shapovalov in the semi-finals.
The powerful Canadian hit 59 winners – including 17 aces – during an epic five-setter with Karen Khachanov, which he edged 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 to book his maiden venture into the last four of a Slam.
Wimbledon 2021 Results
Wednesday July 7
Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 Marton Fucsovics
Roger Federer 3-6, 6-7, 0-6 Hubert Hurkacz
Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 Karen Khachanov
Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 Felix Auger-Aliassime
Roger Federer has withdrawn from this year’s French Open ahead of his fourth-round clash with Matteo Berrettini.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion says he has pulled out of the event in order to protect his body and focus his efforts on challenging for a ninth Wimbledon title later this month.
Federer, who was involved in a late-night finish against Germany’s Dominik Koepfer on Saturday, told journalists in his post-match press conference that he was contemplating withdrawing from the second major of the season.
The four-set victory over Koepfer was only the sixth match the 39-year-old has played in the last 16 months; during which period he has undergone two knee surgeries.
And ahead of facing ninth seed Berrettini, who subsequently receives a bye into the quarter-finals, 2009 French Open champion Federer informed tournament officials of his desire to drop out of the event as a precaution.
The Swiss ace confirmed the news on Twitter to his 12.6 million followers.
“After discussions with my team, I’ve decided I will need to pull out of the French Open today,” he posted.
“After two knee surgeries and over a year of rehabilitation, it’s important that I listen to my body and make sure I don’t push myself too quickly on my road to recovery.
“I am thrilled to have gotten three matches under my belt.
“There is no better feeling that being back on court.
“See everyone soon!”
Guy Forget, French Open tournament director, added: “The Roland-Garros tournament is sorry about the withdrawal of Roger Federer, who put up an incredible fight last night.
“We were all delighted to see Roger back in Paris, where he played three high-level matches.
“We wish him all the best for the rest of the season.”
Roger Federer returns to Grand Slam action at Wimbledon – here are full details of his next match.
Eight-time champion Federer has been placed in the bottom half of the draw, opposite to that of rival and defending champion Novak Djokovic.
The Swiss superstar boasts a record of 103-13 at the All England Club since making his debut back in 1999.
The 39-year-old continues to recover from a lengthy injury lay-off, having exceeded his own expectations at the French Open by reaching the Fourth Round before withdrawing as a precaution.
Federer is the sixth seed at Wimbledon and is chasing down a record 21st Grand Slam title, a feat which would break his tie with Rafael Nadal and top the list for all-time most major singles trophies.
Federer has reached at least the Quarter-Final stage at Wimbledon in all but one of his consecutive appearances since 2003, with a shock Second Round exit coming in 2013.
Looking ahead to Wimbledon, Federer said: “I think I’ve got to take the positives out of these last few weeks, that I’m actually here at Wimbledon right now and I have a chance.
“I know if I get rolling, I get into the second week – which is the goal here right now, that I get stronger and stronger as every match goes by – I believe it’s very much possible.
“I come here feeling mentally strong rather than the last set I played in Halle, which was clearly not the standard I like.”
Federer began his latest Wimbledon campaign with a walkover against Adrian Mannarino, with the world number 42 retiring through injury with the score level at two sets apiece.
He then swept aside two-time semi-finalist Richard Gasquet in straight sets (7-6, 6-1, 6-4) before fending off a tough examination from home favourite Cameron Norrie to prevail 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
Federer safely saw off Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego in the Last 16 with another commanding straight sets (7-5, 6-4, 6-2) success to continue his glory trail.
He will now take on 14th seed Hubert Hurkacz, with the match scheduled to commence from around 3.30pm BST on Wednesday July 7.
Hurkacz defeated second seed Daniil Medvedev in a fifth set decider in the last round and the 24-year-old Pole finds himself in the Quarter-Finals of a Grand Slam for the first time.
Either seventh seed Matteo Berrettini or 16th seed Félix Auger-Aliassime will await the winner in the Semi-Finals later in the week.
Watch Roger Federer next match streamed live
Marin Cilic and Roger Federer will go toe-to-toe in the 2nd round of the 2021 French Open from 3pm BST on Thursday.
Cilic was knocked out in the opening rounds of the 2020 French Open and 2021 Australian Open, but did well to avoid that a couple of days ago. He began his 2021 French Open campaign on a comfortable manner by beating Arthur Rinderknech 3-0 (7-6, 6-1, 6-2). Clay is the weakest surface for Cilic, but he looked decent on this surface recently. He has won five of his last eight matches on clay and managed to reach the Semi-Finals in Estoril during this run.
Meanwhile, Federer secured his first victory on clay since 2019 by defeating Denis Istomin in straight sets (6-2,6-4,6-3). Although Federer admitted that he has very low expectations for the French Open, he holds an impressive record in this phase of the competition. Roger has never lost a second-round match on the Parisian clay (15-0).
In addition, he has won nine of his last ten meetings with Cilic across all surfaces. Their latest meeting came in the final of the 2018 Australian Open – where Federer prevailed five sets to claim his most recent Grand Slam title.
Federer to win in straight sets is priced at odds of 81/50 with Bet365.
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The popular Laver Cup will be played at London’s O2 Arena in 2022.
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Organizers have named the O2 Arena in London as the venue for the 2022 edition of the Laver Cup, which will be played from 23-25 September 2022.
The news comes as a boost for British tennis fans, who have grown accustomed to the ATP Tour Finals being played at the O2 each November since 2009.
But the 2020 edition of the season-ending championships – which may or may not be able to allow fans thanks to COVID-19 – will be the last that takes place at the O2 before it moves to the Italian city of Turin from 2021-25.
The Laver Cup, which is played in late September after the US Open under normal circumstances, was cancelled for 2020 for obvious reasons, and will be played in Boston’s TD Garden in 2021.
The exhibition event was created by Roger Federer’s management agency Team8, Tennis Australia and Brazilian businessman Jorge Paulo Lemann, with the idea to start a tournament based on the Ryder Cup format which sees the golfers of Europe and the USA facing off.
Named to honour Rod Laver, the only man to complete a true Grand Slam in the Open Era, the exhibition event sees male players competing against each other in singles and doubles as Team Europe and Team World. Roger Federer has played all three editions so far, joined by Rafael Nadal in 2017 and 2019 and Novak Djokovic in 2018. Unsurprisingly, Team Europe has won all three editions of the Laver Cup to date.
Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe currently act as team captains.
‘London has always held a special place in my heart and it’s going to be incredible to bring the Laver Cup to one of my favourite cities in the world.
‘I know the British fans will love the way the Laver Cup brings together the top players in the world while paying respect and recognition to the legends of our game.’
It remains to be seen whether 39-year-old Federer will still be playing when the Laver Cup comes to London in 2022.
London mayor Sadiq Khan hailed the decision, saying: ‘It is a great honour for London to play host to the Laver Cup in 2022.
‘Londoners are fanatical about sport and have missed the thrill of live events during the pandemic. The capital is proud to have hosted major international sporting events over the years. To add the prestigious Laver Cup to our portfolio is incredibly exciting and we can’t wait to welcome the event to town.’
Roger Federer is unlikely to retire in 2021 and should be expected to play a full season, according to his coach Severin Luthi.
Federer, who will turn 39 this week, is always surrounded by retirement speculation, which has been further fuelled by the events of the 2020 season. First, Federer underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in February and declared he would not play until the grass-court season; then the season was suspended in mid-March due to the global health crisis; thirdly, Federer needed to have a second surgery after his recovery from the first one did not go as well as expected, and announced he would not play in 2020 despite the ATP Tour planning to resume in August.
But long-time coach Severin Luthi, who has also served as Switzerland’s Davis Cup captain since 2005, believes that despite multiple surgeries and the prospect of turning 40 while still competing on the ATP Tour, Federer’s retirement is not imminent.
Talking to Swiss magazine Smash, Luthi said:
‘Roger still loves life on the circuit, I’ve never heard him say that he should stop because he wants a change of lifestyle or that he’s tired of travelling.
‘Nothing can be 100% ruled out but given that he still loves tennis and the time he spends with the friends that he has everywhere, I don’t think he’s thinking of retiring in 2021.’
Luthi’s comments are backed up by an interview Federer recently gave to the Business of Fashion podcast to promote a new trainer, in which Federer revealed he was embarking on a 20-week fitness training block in order to prepare for 2021 and talked about his enduring passion for his tennis life:
‘[A]s long as I know I’m not taking long-term risks on my health, my four kids are doing great, my wife is happy I’m still pursuing my dreams and she’s very supportive of that fact and we can manage all the travels with the family and everybody, and I truly still have full-blown passion to play and I believe I can compete with the best, beat the best and still win the biggest tournaments, I’m honestly really willing to give it a go.’
Federer and his team have a very solid precedent for believing that the 20-time champion can come back from a lengthy hiatus and quickly regain his best form – he’s done it before. In 2016, Federer shut down his season after Wimbledon, having undergone surgery on his left knee earlier in the year. When he returned to competition in January 2017, he won his first major title in five years at the Australian Open, defeating long-time nemesis Rafael Nadal in the final. He went on to win Wimbledon the same year.
‘It’s true, there are parallels with 2016. Perhaps he could use that to his advantage. The truth is that this injury arrived at the best possible moment.
‘The day after the operation he was looking forward to a new phase in which he would spend him with his family. He has a unique capacity to be very ambitious without getting frustrated with the unexpected.’
Could history repeat itself and see Federer return from sabbatical to triumph at the 2021 Australian Open?
Roger Federer continues to look to the future despite COVID-19 and two knee surgeries this year: ‘I think I would really like to see what else is left for me.’
‘I’m working [on] my rehab right now, my goal is to be back 100% ready by the first of December, first of January so I can play a full season again next year.’
The Swiss star has only played six official matches in 2020, reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open before losing to Novak Djokovic. He underwent surgery on his right knee in February and announced that he intended to return for the grass-court season, only for the global health crisis to lead to a complete shutdown of ATP Tour tennis and the cancellation of Wimbledon for the first time since the Second World War.
Federer then underwent a second surgery on his right knee in July and announced that he was shutting down his season and would return to competition in 2021.
‘I don’t truly believe in fairy-tale endings because I think if you try to achieve that you will fail. If it happens it happens, but if I wanted it to happen I probably could have retired by my comeback in ’17, when I came back and won my first tournament back in Australia beating Rafa in five sets in a final. I mean, how much better can it get, really?
‘And I didn’t think either by beating Novak last year in a Wimbledon epic final, if I would have won that I wouldn’t have retired then on the spot either. … It was an amazing match but I believe there is still a bit more to go.’
Federer held two championship points but ended up losing to Djokovic in a five-set match which was the longest singles final in Wimbledon history.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion confided that he is facing a 20-week fitness training block in order to get back to full fitness after his second operation and a lengthy absence from competition.
‘I’m really thankful that I’ve still got the passion to keep going. My fitness coach has told me, “We’re probably looking at a 20-week fitness block, are you ready for it?” I was like, “Yeah, absolutely” and he looked me in the eye and said, “Are you sure?”
‘… I was like “Yeah, it’s good.” I mean, I’ll definitely try it while I’m still active enough. I’d rather do rehab this way than when I’m retired – I mean seriously, I’m going to do rehab properly, professionally? No chance, I’ll be doing other things.
‘… I think I would really like to see what else is left for me and hopefully I have a great next year and we’ll go from there.’
By the time Federer returns to action in January, as he plans, he could have lost his grip on the all-time Grand Slam titles record. Long-time rival Nadal won his 19th major title at the US Open in 2019 and although it is unlikely that he will defend his title when the 2020 US Open takes place in September behind closed doors, the 12-time Roland Garros champion will be the overwhelming favourite when the French Open takes place from 27 September-11 October.
Federer admitted he’s been fielding retirement questions since 2009, when he completed the career Grand Slam by winning the French Open and went on to reclaim his Wimbledon title by beating Andy Roddick in a memorable five-set final.
‘And here we are, I didn’t think I was going to play until 38 or 39. If you would have told me, “Roger, in 16 years you’re going to have a left knee operation and then in 2020 you’re going to have two right knee operations and still [be] motivated and eager to play”, I would have probably told you: “Are you crazy? There’s no way I want to play tennis any more if that’s the case.”
‘But as long as I know I’m not taking long-term risks on my health, my four kids are doing great, my wife is happy I’m still pursuing my dreams and she’s very supportive of that fact and we can manage all the travels with the family and everybody, and I truly still have full-blown passion to play and I believe I can compete with the best, beat the best and still win the biggest tournaments, I’m honestly really willing to give it a go.
‘[B]ecause I really just don’t mind the travels, it’s part of my life, I love it. I know this is usually what gets the guys at the end, you know: “It’s been enough travelling now, you know, 15-20 years going on a world tour like a musician from January to November and doing it time and time again.” It’s tough. It’s rough, I must tell you, but we found a way with my wife and my family to make it so much fun, to create a home away from home.’
Roger Federer’s coach Severin Luthi has given a positive update on the Swiss great’s recovery from his knee surgery: ‘We’re focused on next season.’
Luthi reported that Federer is doing well and will soon resume fitness training in the wake of undergoing a second operation this year.
The 38-year-old Federer had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in February, after a turbulent Australian Open campaign ended with a semifinal defeat at the hands of Novak Djokovic.
Federer, who has won 20 Grand Slams titles, initially hoped to be back for Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics. But when the season was suspended in mid-March due to the global COVID-19 health crisis, with Wimbledon subsequently cancelled and the Olympics postponed until 2021, Federer – whose recovery from February’s surgery had not been as quick as respected – decided to shut down his 2020 season entirely and undergo a second knee surgery.
Consequently, Federer will not be playing at the US Open, which is scheduled to be played behind closed doors in New York from 31 August-13 September. He had already decided to skip the clay season and the French Open, which will take place in Paris from 27 September-11 October.
‘Roger is doing well,’ Luthi told Swiss broadcaster SRF.
‘Rehabilitation has gone according to plan after the second surgery.
‘No big intensity until now, he will start a physical fitness block with Pierre Paganini shortly. First priority is that Roger Federer gets 100% healthy again.’
The longevity at the top of the sport enjoyed by Federer, who will turn 39 in August, has defied all conventional wisdom, and there are constant questions, rumours and speculation about when the all-time great will finally call time on his career.
Many feared that he would not be able to return for another season after being effectively denied a 2020 season by injury and then the global suspension of sport.
But Luthi’s report suggests that nothing could be further from the truth.
‘The nice thing is that with Roger you still get the feeling you‘re on court with a junior and not with a player who‘s rather at the end of his career.
‘Those are perfect conditions, we’re focused on next season.’
There is precedent for making a successful comeback from the kind of knee surgery and lengthy absence from the sport that Federer has undergone – in the man himself.
Federer shut down his 2016 season in July to have a similar arthroscopic procedure on his left knee after injuring himself while running a bath for his twin daughters. He returned to the sport six months later and won the Australian Open in his first official tournament back before picking up his eighth Wimbledon title that summer.