A year ago, Roger Federer, the eight-time Wimbledon champion, suffered a tough loss against Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals. Playing in just his fifth tournament since February 2020, Roger recorded four wins and became the oldest Wimbledon quarter-finalist in the era.
The Swiss expected more against the Pole in a battle for the semi-finals. Hurkacz had other plans and beat the legend and his idol 6-3 7-6 6-0 in an hour and 48 minutes to sail to the semifinals. Despite having more winners than unforced errors, Federer was way off the pace of the young opponent, struggling on serve and return and making too many costly mistakes.
The Swiss lost ground in the third set to experience the first love since the 2008 Roland Garros final against Rafael Nadal, having nothing else in the tank after blowing his chances in the second. Federer managed only one break and struggled to keep the pressure on the Pole in his matches, receiving five breaks from 15 chances offered to his opponent.
Hubert secured an early lead in the first game with a break at 3-2 and closed it out with a service winner in game nine after 28 minutes. Eager to improve his game, Federer got an early break in the second set before Hurkacz broke again at 2-4 with a deep return to regain confidence.
Roger did not play well in the tie break, struggling with his footwork and losing it 7-4 when Hubert fired two winners in the last two points. In one of the worst sets of his career, Federer had only 15 points in the third set to experience a love and hit the exit door in the worst way possible.
Murray on Roger Federer
Hampered by two hip surgeries in 2018 and 2019, Murray is not giving up on his arduous journey back to the top where he joined Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as part of the Big 4.
“I would love to see Roger back playing again. It’s always difficult to know when the end is,” Murray said. Federer, meanwhile, has been sidelined for almost a year. The Swiss last featured in the Wimbledon quarterfinals before undergoing a third knee surgery in 18 months.
“Obviously, people have been talking about it for many years. The next generation have come through, [but] the same guys are still winning the Grand Slams and I’d love to see Roger back competing again. I don’t know his situation, but I believe he will get back to competing.
I don’t know how long for, but I really hope we can play another tournament together. It’s been a long time,” said Murray.