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Federer Falls to Hurkacz, Djokovic Also Joined by Shapovalov and Berrettini in Wimbledon Semifinals

By Ricky Dimon

There will be no Cinderella story at Wimbledon in Roger Federer’s 2021 comeback; no 21st Grand Slam title; no rematch with Novak Djokovic in the final.

Of course, any and all of those things were longshots. The fact that they aren’t becoming a reality is no surprise. However, the way in which Federer’s stay at the All-England Club came to an end was abrupt and disappointing. The 39-year-old delivered a listless performance in the quarterfinals on Wednesday afternoon and lost to Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-0. Hurkacz needed only one hour and 49 minutes to advance.

“I thought I had a decent chance going into the match,” Federer commented. “I felt like if I can protect my serve, I would get chances off his second serve and I would get into the rallies I would have them go my way. But I struggled early on in that first set. I felt like with my serve my rhythm was a little bit off. Put myself in too many difficult situations and didn’t take my own chances. I think that first set, I feel like I need to do better. Okay, credit to him for getting that one done.

“Second set…I got to find a way to win it somehow. Obviously being up a break, was it 4-1, I got to find a way to win that. The ‘breaker was a brutal first six points to go down 4-2 and change ends and go against the wind. I knew that wasn’t going to be great for me. Then being down two sets to love, with his momentum and swinging his way, things got complicated. Look, he was the better player by far at the end, so he deserved the victory today.”

Despite the less than ideal end, the Swiss felt good enough about his fortnight as a whole.

“I’m actually very happy I made it as far as I did here and I actually was able to play Wimbledon at the level that I did after everything I went through,” he explained.

As expected, Federer also assured during his post-match press conference that he wants to continue playing. He wouldn’t necessarily guarantee anything about his upcoming schedule, but he did express some optimism about getting back to the grind.

“I was able to make it (to Wimbledon) this year, which I’m really happy about,” he noted. “With everything that comes after Wimbledon, we were always going to sit down and talk about it. Clearly now Wimbledon is over; I got to take a few days. Obviously we’re going to speak a little bit tonight, depending on how I feel, then the next couple of days as well. Then we go from there. Just see, ‘Okay, what do I need to do to get in better shape so I can be more competitive?’

“But no, I hope not that [retirement] is not going to happen. The goal is to play, of course.”

As for Hurkacz, he will continue playing at Wimbledon. The 24-year-old Pole is set for an improbable semifinal appearance, as he had lost six matches in a row prior to arriving in London. Next up for him is Matteo Berrettini, a four-set winner over Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The other semi will pit Novak Djokovic against Denis Shapovalov. Djokovic defeated Marton Fucsovics in straight sets, while Shapovalov battled past Karen Khachanov in five.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.