Roger Federer Will Remain The King Of Wimbledon - Whoever Wins The Title This Year

If Federer announces next year he will be accepting a wildcard to play Wimbledon one last time, it will be the hottest ticket in town
10:11, 05 Jul 2022

Whoever is left holding the famous gold cup at the end of this year’s Championship in the men’s singles tournament, Roger Federer will not be dislodged from his throne as the King of Wimbledon. 

There was a gaping void in this year’s draw for the first time since 1998 that was not even partially filled by the appearance of the Swiss legend at the Centre Court parade of former champions on Middle Sunday…at which unsurprisingly Federer got the biggest roar of approval from the 15,000 crowd after being introduced by John McEnroe and Sue Barker. 

Federer, now 40 and having undergone multiple knee surgeries since making his last appearance at Wimbledon in 2021 when he lost to Hubert Hurkacz, is planning to return to competitive action and has entered both the representative Laver Cup in London in September, and his home Swiss Indoors in Basel the following month.


As Serena Williams knows only too well, it is nigh on impossible to have any concrete plans once the fitness and injury issues kick in and you are on the wrong side of 40. It is day by day, month by month, and all targets come with an asterisk. 

But what everyone present and millions of fans around the world really want to know is whether Federer, one of the greatest sportspeople of all time, might appear just one more time at his favourite tournament on the hallowed Centre Court turf next year, when he would be a few weeks shy of his 42nd birthday. 

Federer himself made it clear that if the body is able to return on a wildcard, then he is more than willing – and you got the distinct impression that he does not wish his final memory of a tournament, a place and a court that has brought him so much success and joy to be the sad surrender against Poland’s Hurkacz 12 months ago. The 6-0 finale in a straight-sets defeat was especially painful in every respect for Federer.

And in that sense his situation now is very much like Serena’s was ahead of this year, when she surprised a lot of people making the trip to the UK and taking in some warm-up doubles before making at least one more appearance on Centre Court that may yet be her last. 

In the case of the 23-time slam singles winner, she may have lost a first-round thriller to Harmony Tan this year, but that will still be a far better memory than limping off in agony and tears in 2021 – forced to withdraw with an ankle injury. 

Let’s hope Federer gets the same chance. He said: “This court has given me my biggest wins and my biggest losses. I hope I can come back one more time.  

“I've been lucky enough to play a lot of matches on this court. It feels awkward to be here today in a different type of role," said Federer, who completed his outfit by wearing white tennis shoes and a purple Wimbledon membership badge on his lapel. 

“It's great to be here with all the other champions. I've missed it here. I knew walking out here last year, it was going to be a tough year ahead. I maybe didn't think it was going to take this long to come back -- the knee has been rough on me. It’s been a good year regardless of tennis... I'm happy standing here right now.” 

So what it is that sets Federer apart, especially on the grass at Wimbledon? Why has he been ranked so high for so long on the sporting bucket list of so many? 

It is necessary to bring other sportsmen and sportswomen into the conversation for some perspective. Because you are talking about watching Michael Jordan sinking jump shots in Chicago in his pomp; seeing Tiger Woods destroying the fields at Augusta; admiring Serena, Martina Navratilova or Steffi Graf exert their dominance; looking on as Lionel Messi danced through a defence at the Nou Camp, or watching Ronnie O’Sullivan rattle in a century break at the Crucible. 

It is not just what they won – it is how they did it. With a natural skill, flair and instinct, allied to the years of hard work and practice and grindstone of building foundations for stellar success. 

You can talk about a serve that ran through so many opponents, or the clubbing forehand that swished past many hapless would-be volleyers, the elegant single-handed backhand that also packed such a punch, and the volleying skills that came so naturally. 

However, the very essence of Federer’s exceptional ability was how early he takes the ball. He is like the world-class Test batsman that just sees it earlier and quicker, allowing them to immediately judge where the ball was going to pitch or bounce, and in the milli-seconds available adjust to play the best possible shot. And the impression left is that those special players have more time than anyone else. This is not true of course, but that is how it looks. 

And if Federer does announce next year he will be accepting a wildcard to play Wimbledon one last time, it will be the hottest ticket in town. 

Betfred's Latest Wimbledon Men's Singles Outrights*

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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