Nobody in the long and distinguished history of Wimbledon has hoisted a famous trophy aloft in SW19 on more occasions than Roger Federer. The Swiss superstar has been crowned king of Centre Court on eight occasions.
Said record places him – in the Open era – one clear of American icon Pete Sampras and two ahead of Serbian supremo Novak Djokovic, who will believe that he still has at least a couple of sustained challenges left in him.
Whatever happens from here, even if he is eventually toppled from the top of a notable roll of honour, there will always be a place for Federer on the green grass of southwest London. Will he grace such a stage again, though, in the heat of competitive action?
Given the enforced spell he has been taking away from the court of late, he was never going to figure prominently in tennis betting online ahead of the 145th staging of a prestigious event. Djokovic is a 5/6 odds-on favourite to claim a seventh crown in 2022, with emerging star Carlos Alcaraz and record-setting Rafael Nadal seemingly his closest challengers.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) August 8, 2021
Wildcard for Federer?
A price is still being offered on Federer to land a wildcard entrance pass and reacquaint himself with familiar surroundings. Still, any visit to English shores this summer will likely be more vacation than vocation. Surely, though, the final chapter in the most remarkable of the sporting fairytale has not been written… has it? One last hurrah?
It remains to be seen whether a famous headband and the most elegant of one-handed backhands will grace carefully manicured lawns at Wimbledon again, with a clock ticking in that department. The man himself has suggested that he is not finished yet.
Federer has said of his plans: “Even if I know that the end is near, I want to try and play some more big matches.” He has recently added, when quizzed on whether drive and ambition still burn bright: “I’m ready to give it my all again. I feel like a racehorse scratching its stall and wanting to race.”
That will be music to the ears of those who continue to pack into grandstands wherever an all-time great lays his racket, with it only fitting that players of his legendary pedigree get the opportunity to bow out on their terms.
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) April 25, 2022
Basel return and retirement?
For now, a return date is penciled in for October at the Swiss Indoors in Basel. Home comforts will provide the perfect setting for a step back into what is fast becoming the unknown. It is also worth noting that said event earned Federer his 103rd and most recent triumph in 2019.
He had made another Wimbledon final that year, his 12th in total, only to come up short in an epic five-set encounter with Djokovic that finished 13-12 in the first Grand Slam showpiece to feature a final set tie break once 24 games could not determine a winner.
Federer made the last eight in 2021, going down in straight sets to Hubert Hurkacz, and will not want his final entry in the history books to be a 6-0 reversal. He deserves one last hurrah, at least more step onto the lush Wimbledon turf, but whether the said wish is granted is yet to be determined.