Roger Federer surprise Wimbledon defeat raises fresh retirement questions

John McEnroe doubts Federer’s chances of winning Wimbledon

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Roger Federer has been knocked out of Wimbledon in emphatic fashion at the hands of Hubert Hurkacz, which raises further questions on the Swiss tennis icon’s chance of competing at Grand Slams in the future. There were already doubts on the possibility of Federer challenging for his 21st Grand Slam title heading into Wimbledon.

A disappointing defeat in the second round of the Halle Open left Federer with little preparation on the grass courts.

But the 2021 Wimbledon Championships also came just a few months after Federer’s return from the longest injury lay-off of his career.

Apart from a decent run at the French Open, there hadn’t been any standout victories in the few matches Federer had played.

Still, Wimbledon was the end goal for Federer for his comeback and there was plenty of optimism heading in.

That almost ended in the very first round against Adrian Mannarino, only for the Frenchman to retire with injury ahead of the fifth set.

Federer admitted after the first-round match that he was “lucky” to progress and that Mannarino was the better player.

That’s not something Federer would have freely admitted at the height of his dominance on the men’s game – against a player ranked No 42 in the world.

A much more solid display followed against Richard Gasquet before Federer begun showing some signs of his former self in defeating British No 2 Cameron Norrie.

His best was to come against Lorenzo Sonego as Federer defeated the No 23 seed in little over two hours.

Hurkacz, while proving to be a talent on the tour, shouldn’t have been an issue for Federer if the 39-year-old had any hopes of being a true contender for a Grand Slam title again.

But the 24-year-old stunned Centre Court into silence as he came out firing against the former world No 1.

Federer was almost sloppy at times as he repeated unforced error after unforced error with his service game also letting him down.

Hurkacz needed less than two hours to knock the 20-time Grand Slam champion out of his favoured major.

And with it, he may have also ended Federer’s final hope of adding to his Grand Slam tally.

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