Roger Federer 'not the player he was' says Rupert Bell
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Roger Federer’s defeat to Hubert Hurkacz could have been a final farewell at Wimbledon, Andrew Castle believes. The Swiss star went into the match looking to make the semi-finals. But, instead, a major upset took place.
Federer was blown away by Hurkacz on Wednesday, going down 3-6, 6-7, 0-6 in front of a shocked Centre Court.
It was the first time the Swiss maestro had ever lost a set at the competition without winning a single game and, now, an inquest is primed to begin.
Federer has struggled with injury problems in recent years and, at the age of 39, there are now serious questions over whether he’ll ever get back to his best.
And Castle, commentating for BBC Sport, believes the Swiss star may have been playing out a final farewell.
“Magnificent demolition of a great champion, Hurkacz disposes of Federer in straights and it is his moment,” he said.
“He has never been anywhere near this stage at a Grand Slam.
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“We just don’t know if this is a final farewell for Federer and he certainly isn’t about to hang about and discuss it.”
Boris Becker is also unsure over whether Federer will keep going after such a big setback.
“I noticed the mis-hits, awkward looking points from Roger and obviously the last set of course, 6-0,” he said.
“He would never ever say if there was a niggle, but I don’t know if we will ever see the great man again here.”
Hurkacz was delighted after the victory, saying: “I don’t know what to say, it’s super special for me.
”I’ve been playing on this special court against Roger, it’s like a dream come true to play him.”
When asked whether he had ever imagined of beating Federer in the style that he did, Hurkacz added: “Probably not.
“Playing here in front of you guys. The special things that he has done here throughout his whole career, it’s a dream come true.”
Before the match, Federer admitted he had possessed doubts about competing at Wimbledon this year as a result of his injury woes.
“I’m very happy at almost 40 years old to have made another quarters,” he said.
“I didn’t expect it to come this year given all the problems I’ve had in the past year and a half so I’m extremely happy to be here.
“It’s going to be tough the quarter-finals, I know that but I’m really pleased to be here and I now know everything is possible.”
He also added: “In your dreams you hope to win one Wimbledon.
“Then the dreams end, you cannot dream this far ahead. In 2001 I made the quarters against [Tim] Henman.
“I lost the next year in the first round against Mario Ancic and then 2003, you’re thinking ‘I hope I can break that barrier or make the quarters.’
“I hoped to make the semis for the first time and I did, I got into the match with [Andy] Roddick and I started to play like in a dream.
“I didn’t know I had tennis in me like that and then you’re in the finals.
“Then you win it and it’s about what’s the next goal, it’s not the quarters anymore, it’s defending the championships.
“As you move on you have different goals and you always want to remember who you were, how you did it and how excited you were at the time.
“Later you have to remind yourself daily, what a privilege it is to be here, how grateful you are, why you still care about it all. Otherwise, what’s the point?”
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