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‘I hope I can come back one more time’: Roger Federer delights Wimbledon with surprise appearance – updated after Centre Court celebration
Fans were thrilled to see the Swiss superstar in SW19
He walked out to a huge crowd ovation, telling mistress of ceremonies Sue Barker: “Of course I’ve missed being here, I would have loved being here… the knee has been rough on me.”
And Federer paid tribute to his predecessors in the sport, including the absent Pete Sampras, adding: “I hope I can come back one more time.”
Other former champions joining the parade were Andy Murray, Goran Ivanisevic, Martina Hingis, Pat Cash, Venus Williams, Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg, Billie Jean King, John Newcombe, Jan Kodes, Lleyton Hewitt, Ann Jones, Margaret Court, Conchita Martinez, Chrissie Evert, Rod Laver, Stan Smith, Angela Mortimer, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, Marion Bartoli, Simona Halep, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Federer was the last to be called.
Federer’s surgery woes
The Swiss superstar has lifted the trophy in SW19 eight times – but has been absent this year.
Federer had his most recent knee operation in August 2021, which left him on crutches for two months before he began his rehabilitation process.
He has indicated that he hopes to return to action in the autumn.
Federer’s knee surgery ended an incredible appearance streak that stretched back to 1999, when he made his first main-draw appearance and reached only the first round.
Since then, however, his record has been somewhat more impressive – and even since his powers began to wane a little, his results on his beloved grass courts have still shone, reaching at least the quarter-finals in London every year since 2014.