Roger Federer 'not the player he was' says Rupert Bell
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Roger Federer was heavily beaten in the quarter-finals at the hands of Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz. The Swiss lost a set 6-0 for the first time at Wimbledon as he suffered his heaviest defeat at the All England Club since 2002.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has played very little tennis this year having struggled with form and fitness.
But after an unconvincing first round match against Adrian Mannarino, Federer was looking stronger as the tournament progressed.
A Convincing win over Richard Gasquet was followed by a good overall performance against Cameron Norrie before a comfortable win over Lorenzo Sonego in round four.
However, the Swiss was comprehensively beaten during a 6-3 7-6 6-0 defeat to Hurkacz who was playing in his first Grand Slam quarter-final.
The defeat raised fresh questions over Federer’s future as he approaches the end of his glittering career.
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And former French Open champion Patrick McEnroe believes Federer lost interest during the heavy loss.
Speaking to ESPN, he said: “A lot of emotions watching Federer leave the court because you’re not sure if this is it. You sort of speculate, we’re all wondering,”
“I think he’ll take some time to think about this. Certainly the way he went out in the final set, getting bageled – it almost didn’t look like he wanted to be out there at that point. Like he knew the writing was on the proverbial wall.
“Hurkacz obviously, a lot of firepower, played a very mature match. I wonder if he (Federer) is willing to pay the price that he needs to physically to come back, because the movement wasn’t there.
“His ability to run quickly, especially when he had to go wide, was not there. And I think he knew that, I think he felt that, especially after dropping the second set that he should have won.
“So, if he thinks he can do the work to get back, to get his fitness and get movement back – I think he’ll continue. But I don’t think he continues if he thinks that this is the best he can do, the best he can play at this point.”
Despite the defeat, McEnroe insists that the Swiss can be pleased with reaching the quarter-finals after such a long lay off although the nature of the loss will lead to some concern.
He added: “I think he would have been pleased [to reach the quarter-finals before the tournament]. But I think it was the way this match transpired to me, that has me wondering.
“Obviously Roger, he’s gonna digest it. He doesn’t make rash decisions, he’s gonna think about it.
“The way he left Centre Court, he left quickly, he didn’t do some huge goodbye.”
Federer has not won a Grand Slam since the 2018 Australian Open but came close in the 2019 Wimbledon final when he had two championship points against Novak Djokovic.
The Swiss great turns 40 in August and is next scheduled to play at the Olympic Games in Tokyo on July 23.
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