For some life begins at 40, however, the same cannot be said about players involved in physically taxing sports. Tennis is one such sport that takes a lot from the players involved in it and if you are pushing 40 then it is not an ideal game to be in. This thought might have crossed the minds of several people as Roger Federer went down tamely to Hubert Hurkacz at the Wimbledon. There is no shame in losing after a tough challenge but yesterday’s display from Federer was puerile, to say the least. So, what does this imply? Is this the last Grand Slam appearance of the Swiss legend? Well nobody can answer this precisely than unarguably the finest artist this sport has seen in the current era.
Federer will be turning 40 in August this year. The kind of injury layoffs he has had and the abrupt exit from the French Open recently have lent credence to the claim that the Swiss master’s best is part of history now. This might sound a bit too harsh for the player with 20 Grand Slams, including eight Wimbledon titles but yesterday’s defeat at the hands of a 24-year-old Polish player indicates that it is time for Federer to introspect. Just forget the defeat Federer had to endure at the hands of an agile player with nimble foot movements, the question is: Does he still have the fire in his belly to silence his critics for the one last time?
Well, the Swiss has been very secretive about his imminent future. His statement at the post-match news conference was very cryptic. “It’s a struggle for me. I knew it was going to be hard, to be honest, but now I need to talk to the team, take time — not feel rushed by you guys or anybody — take time and work out the decision to take. I hope not; the goal is to play on,” said Federer. From these words, it is difficult to decipher the plans of Federer. It seems that he needs time to decide about his next course of action.
Well, it is only apt to leave the decision to the Swiss legend regarding his appearances in future Grand Slams. After all, what he has achieved is nothing ordinary. His 20 Grand Slam titles might have been equalled by Rafael Nadal with Novak Djokovic (19) closing in on the same. But what about his tally of 103 titles which is second only to Jimmy Connor’s 109. Federer was written off in the past as well but he came back strongly to win many major titles. Hence, it would be nothing short of an anti-climax to an intriguing tale if Federer walks into the sunset after this shocking loss.