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Roger Federer unsure if he’ll be back at Wimbledon after lopsided quarterfinal loss

Roger Federer leaves the court after being defeated by Poland's Hubert Hurkacz.
(Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated Press)

Roger Federer has been feted by plenty of ovations at Wimbledon’s Centre Court. None quite like this one, though. This was not a celebration and didn’t come at the end of the match.

Instead, it delayed the beginning of what turned out to be the last game of his quarterfinal loss and felt more like a “thank you” or — just in case — a “goodbye.” And Federer acknowledged afterward he isn’t sure whether he’ll be back.

The eight-time champion at the All England Club bowed out 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-0 against 14th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland on Wednesday, a surprisingly lopsided finish to Federer’s 22nd appearance in the tournament.

Asked whether it also might have been his last appearance here, he replied: “I don’t know. I really don’t know. I’ve got to regroup.”

As for whether retirement is an immediate possibility, he offered this: “No, I hope not. ... The goal is to play, of course.”

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That likely was on thousands of minds in the stadium when Federer stepped to the baseline to serve while trailing 5-0 in the third set: He waited while fans in the full-to-capacity stands applauded and cheered, some rising to their feet.

Soon enough, it was over, only the third shutout set ceded by Federer in 429 Grand Slam matches; both of the others came at the French Open.

“The last few games, obviously, you can feel that you’re not coming back from it,” said Federer, who spoke steadily and did not betray any emotion in his news conference. “I’m not used to that kind of situation, obviously, very much. Especially not here.”

Hurkacz, a 24-year-old from Poland who has called Federer his idol, was asked whether he could have imagined this result.

“Probably not,” he responded.

Federer, who turns 40 in August, underwent two operations on his right knee in 2020. He arrived at Wimbledon having played eight matches this season.

Hurkacz’s opponent Friday will be No. 7 Matteo Berrettini of Italy, who eliminated No. 16 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 to reach his second major semifinal.

Hurkacz never had made it beyond the third round at any Slam.

In Friday’s semifinal on the other half of the draw, No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic faces No. 10 Denis Shapovalov.

After racing to a 5-0 lead at the outset Wednesday, Djokovic dropped three consecutive games to 48th-ranked Marton Fucsovics. Wasted five set points in the process, too. Soon enough, Djokovic righted himself, as he usually does, and beat Fucsovics 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to reach his 10th semifinal at the All England Club and 41st at a Slam.

That allowed the 34-year-old from Serbia to continue his pursuit of a sixth championship at Wimbledon — and third in a row — along with a 20th major trophy.

Shapovalov edged No. 25 Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, then looked ahead to facing Djokovic.


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