Roger Federer sent the Centre Court crowd wild as he stepped out onto the grass to celebrate 100 years of Wimbledon’s main showcourt. The star-studded presentation also saw his fellow Big Four members Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray join alongside a whole host of former champions, and the Swiss star shared a quick chat with his Serbian rival.
Federer and Djokovic were among a huge list of former Wimbledon champions invited to Centre Court for today’s centenary celebrations, on what is the first-ever Middle Sunday with official play scheduled. There were rumours the 40-year-old would be in attendance despite being unable to compete this year as he continues recovery from a knee surgery.
But the eight-time champion at SW19 was spotted at the grounds earlier in the day and received the biggest cheer of the day on Wimbledon’s main showcourt when he stepped on as the final former champion to take to the court.
Dressed in a suit, the 20-time Major champion took his place next to his rival, the six-time champion Djokovic, as the pair shared a quick chat with the world No 3 seen leaning in to speak to the Swiss star.
The 103-time title winner continued to stun the crowd as he shared his hope to return “one last time” after admitting it felt “awkward” to be back at Wimbledon without being able to compete.
“I hope I can come back like you said, one more time,” he told John McEnroe, who was presenting the celebrations alongside Sue Barker. Meanwhile, Djokovic admitted he felt “more nervous” standing on the court alongside his fellow former champions than he did when playing.
The top seed at this year’s edition of The Championships said it was an “honour” to join the champions on the court, adding: “”This court has been truly special from my childhood and the first image of tennis I’ve seen when I was four or five-years-old I saw Pete Sampras wining his first Wimbledon.
“This is where dreams come true and I was blessed in 2011, probably the highlight of my career, to win the tournament and so when I step out on this court I relive these memories. Truly an honour.”