Before Sunday’s matches, Wimbledon held a ceremony celebrating 100 years of Centre Court at Church Road, which opened in 1922. The ceremony featured former men’s and women’s champions being introduced by the number of titles they have.
That meant that the player with the most gentlemen’s singles titles was introduced last, and that is Roger Federer.
Despite not playing in this year’s event, Federer had a chance to speak to the crowd, and he told them how much he would like to play at the tournament again.
“I hope I can come back to Centre Court one more time,” he said. “I miss being here.”
The 20-time grand slam champion had knee surgery last August and hasn’t been able to return since, which means he has missed each of the last four major tournaments. By being unable to play this year, Federer is missing Wimbledon for the only time in his 23-year career.
When Federer was at his peak in the mid-2000s, Wimbledon was maybe his most dominant major. He won five straight tournaments between 2003 and ’07, and one seven of 10 Wimbledon titles stretching out into 2012.
The last time he won Wimbledon was in 2017, but injuries have slowed down his major titles chase with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. He is currently tied at 20 with Djokovic, two back of Nadal’s 22.
While his body is no longer what it used to be, Federer will try to return at least one more time to compete in his most successful tournament.
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