Roger Federer recalls: ‘At my age, the question marks are everywhere’

Roger Federer made a debut at Wimbledon in 1999, a year after winning the junior event. A year ago, Federer returned to Wimbledon after all the issues with his knee in the past 18 months and scored four wins to enter the last eight. Thus, Roger became the oldest player in the Wimbledon quarter-final in the Open era and found himself in the last eight for the 18th time from 22 trips to London! Roger defeated Lorenzo Sonego 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 in the fourth round, overpowering the opponent in the opening two sets and playing better with a roof above his head in the third to set Hubert Hurkacz clash. After a tight opener, Federer dropped only nine points behind the initial shot in sets two and three to stand above the Italian and advance into the quarter-final two decades after doing that for the first time. Roger was happy with his progress after not playing for 13 months, feeling good about his game despite many question marks above his participation. 

“To some extent, it’s nice to see that the work I put in paid off and that I can play at this level with best-of-five sets. When you are young, you do not ask yourself the question. But when you are in my position, with the year I had, it’s all question marks all over the place. You have to prove again to yourself that you can do it. I was willing to take losses for the sake of information, to be out there and get the body in shape for when Wimbledon comes around, that I can actually wake up in the morning and feel all right and still go out and play five sets. I feel that way, so it’s gratifying and a good feeling. We will see how much more I have left in the tank.

Roger Federer reached the Wimbledon quarter-final at 39.

It was important to win in straight sets, and I’m looking forward to the next round. It was exciting when the roof shut again towards the end of the first set. I could see that it was getting a bit more slippery again. The humidity went up, but I did not break a sweat on the outside. It was windy and fresh. Still, it played faster. When you play indoors, it’s just much slower. I think that was one of the reasons I struggled against Mannarino. On top of it, he got the upper hand from the baseline. It’s amazing what the difference between indoor and outdoor situations can do.

You would think that indoors is easier to ace, but I do not feel it’s the case. I feel you have to put extra power in your shots to achieve that. That was one of the reasons I struggled early on because you can become very insecure when you do not get your service winners. I have made some progress, and I’m taking the ball earlier. I have gotten used to the conditions, the balls and the court speed. I can take more balls on the rise, on the half-volley. All these little things make a difference at the end of the day,” Roger Federer said.