Match Points excerpt: Federer won’t “end his career on a bagel in Wimbledon”

In the latest episode of Match Points, our panelists discussed Roger Federer’s future and the possibility of him playing Wimbledon one more time.

August 13, 2021

In this episode of Match Points, panelists Marion Bartoli, Carole Bouchard, and Simon Cambers debate a sensitive subject in the tennis world: Roger Federer‘s future. The 40-year-old is still struggling with a knee problem and has not played since his loss to Hubert Hurkacz in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. That disappointing result for Federer ended in an alarming 6-0 third-set scoreline.

Since being unceremoniously bounced out of the All-England Club, the former world No 1 has since withdrawn from the Olympics and the two Masters 1000s leading up to the US Open — Toronto and Cincinnati — due to recurring knee problems. In the opinion of Bouchard, former reporter for the newspaper L’Equipe and journalist specialising in tennis for French and international media, Federer will not end his career this year and will instead play at least until Wimbledon in 2022 to erase the demons of his recent loss to Hurkacz.

“You are Roger Federer; you don’t end your career on a bagel in Wimbledon,” Bouchard said. “I believe he is going to try to play one more Wimbledon, but that means he needs to play Australia, he needs to try to play some clay, he needs to get in shape. So I believe that he will try. (He is) 40 years old and we are still asking him to play one more Wimbledon. He is one of the biggest champions, all sports considered. He is going to try; I believe we will see him in London next year. I just hope the knee is going to stay quiet.”

Roger Federer Wimbledon 2021

CAMBERS HOPES FEDERER ENDS CAREER “THE WAY HE WANTS TO END IT”

Federer undoubtedly dreams of an exit like that of Pete Sampras, with a last victory at a Grand Slam. But for now the Swiss dreams only that his knee leaves him alone in order to be able to play tennis with a clean bill of health. According to Cambers, the worst thing for Federer would be to retire due to his injury. 

“I guess he’s hoping — and we can hope — that he gets the chance to end his career the way he wants to end it,” Cambers commented. “That’s the big deal for any big sportsman or woman, isn’t it? To go out the way you want to on a high or at least without injury taking it away from you.”

BARTOLI: “I THINK HE WANTS TO END ON SOMETHING THAT MAKES HIM HAPPY”

Federer could choose to retire at his home tournament in Basel, but the 2021 edition has already been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, perhaps the 20-time Grand Slam champion will play one more year and thus make one last appearance at Wimbledon and in Basel. 

For Marion Bartoli, the most important thing is that Federer ends his career on a happy note.

“I’ve learned something about Roger: it’s impossible to read his mind; impossible. You can listen to all of his press conferences, read [articles about him].… You can think something and the opposite will happen. I think only he knows what he really wants and how he wants to end his career. I believe he wants to end on a high and on something that makes him happy.”

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