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Roger Federer: ‘I knew it was gonna be a tough year ahead’

Roger Federer has returned to Wimbledon. The Swiss tennis player arrived on the first (not due to postponements) mid-Sunday of the British tournament, making his entrance on the historic Center Court. The reason is the celebration of the centenary of one of the most historic sports fields.

For this anniversary, the great champions who have triumphed on this very special surface have been used. Among them, Rafael Nadal, now in his second week, and Novak Djokovic, who will play on this same court in the afternoon to achieve the same goal as the Spaniard, are already present to play this tournament.

Federer, for his part, has not been able to recover from an injury, so his presence in London is due to this very celebration. The Swiss, who is the holder of the most wins in the men’s event with eight wins, spoke a few words on this special occasion, also revealing his own hope for the future.
“I hope to be able to return to Center Court once again. I miss being here,” were the words of the former world number one to the spectators on Center Court after the applause they gave him. “I’ve had the opportunity to play many matches on this pitch.

I’ve missed being here,” the eight-time champion continued on the circuit’s most famous grass court. The last time Roger Federer played a match on center court at Wimbledon was in 2021. It was the quarterfinals of the last edition of the British Grand Slam: three sets were enough for Pole Hubert Hurkacz to dethrone the King, who was defending in that court the memorable final lost to Novak Djokovic in 2019.

Federer on his time away from the sport
“I’ve been lucky enough to play a lot of matches on this court, feels awkward to be here today in a different type of role but it’s great to be here like Novak said, with other champions,” said Roger Federer.
“This court has given me my biggest wins, my biggest losses. One of my highlights has of course been in 2001, walking out here with Pete Sampras, who I’d like to give a big shoutout to – he’s also won and inspired a lot of us to play and just also to be successful here and represent the sport well and I hope I did that.”

Sue Barker asked Roger Federer if he rues his absence from the list of players vying for the trophy this year, to which he responded in the affirmative. “Of course, I’ve missed being here, I would have loved being here.
When I was walking it here last year I knew it was gonna be a tough year ahead,” said the Swiss. “Maybe didn’t think it was gonna take me this long to come back but the knee has been rough on me.”

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