Roger Federer walked off Centre Court to a standing ovation on Wednesday. But he quelled retirement talk, after losing to Hubert Hukacz of Poland, saying the ‘goal was to play.’
“I’m actually very happy I made it as far as I did here, and I actually was able to play Wimbledon at the level that I did, after everything I went through,” said Federer after a 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-0.
“Of course, I would like to play it again, but at my age you’re just never sure what’s around the corner.”
The 39-year-old, who underwent two knee surgeries last year, was playing only his fifth tournament and 13th match of the season.
“The past 18 months have been long and hard,” he said.
“Then again, if I take perspective, I’m always very happy about a lot of things that happened [in the past few weeks, the past few months. I know [I] will be upbeat again shortly.
“I know how I am in these situations. I feel like I go maybe very hard on myself, I get very sad, and then a few days go by…. Then I’ll be totally fine again and be my old self.”
It was the first time that Federer had been bagelled (6-0) on the famous lawns, where he has won a record eight titles. But the 20-time major champion believes Wimbledon was the ‘first step’ on his road to recovery and will reassess the situation in a few days.
“You know you need a goal when you’re going through rehab with what I did,” he said.
“You can’t think of the entire mountain to climb as once. You got to go in steps. Wimbledon was the initial first super step, if you like.
“Now that that’s over, you just got to reassess everything. You got to sit down, talk about it, what went well, what didn’t go so well, where is the body, where is the knee, where is the mind? The goal is to play, of course.”
As of now, Federer is scheduled to play at the Tokyo Olympics. He has won a gold medal in doubles but not in singles yet.
The Swiss is currently tied with Rafael Nadal for the most number of men’s singles Grand Slam titles at 20. Novak Djokovic, who is through to the semifinal, is only one short.