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Roger Federer Receives Rousing Ovation in Centre Court Return

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 04: (L-R) Catherine, Princess of Wales, Roger Federer and Mirka Federer court side on day two of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 04, 2023 in London, England. Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage

The Centre Court roof was closed yet Roger Federer nearly blew the lid off the place.  

Eight-time Wimbledon champion Federer returned to Centre Court today and was showered with one of the longest sustained standing ovations in recent memory.

Wearing a light tan suit, the 41-year-old Swiss superstar strode down the steps into the Royal Box and absorbed the love from the packed Centre Court crowds. Fans, some wearing the signature “RF” baseball caps, stood with smart phones raised.

Soaking in the moment, Federer waved to the adoring crowd, touched his heart with his left hand and gave a kiss to wife Mirka Federer before greeting Princess Kate. Directly behind Federer, his parents, Robert and Lynette Federer, stood and applauded as tears welled up in his mother’s eyes.

Two decades after a young Federer, sporting baggy Nike clothes and a ponytail, defeated Mark Philippoussis 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(3), he was greeted with a compilation video displaying the magic, memories and tributes from today’s players, too.

The man who captured five consecutive Wimbledon crowns between 2003-2007 seemed to relish his new role as tennis fan.

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Seated between Princess Kate and wife Mirka, Federer stayed to watch reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina against American Shelby Rogers. The Swiss Maestro chatted with Princess Kate and Mirka throughout the opening set of the Rybakina vs. Rogers opener.