Roger Federer has been struggling with a knee injury for almost three years. The Swiss underwent three surgeries and played only six tournaments since the start of 2020. Roger has decided to end his career at the next week’s Laver Cup, unable to overcome the issues and play injury-free.
Federer has not played since the last year’s Wimbledon, reaching the quarter-final at the All England Club before experiencing the third surgery. A few weeks earlier, Federer embraced his 18th Halle campaign, seeking the 11th title at one of his favorite events.
Setting eyes on his 18th quarter-final at the prestigious event, Roger experienced a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime in an hour and 44 minutes. It was Federer’s earliest loss in Halle, losing ground despite withdrawing from Roland Garros to prepare for the grass swing.
Roger’s coach Ivan Ljubicic said that the Swiss felt the pain during those weeks, gathering dark clouds over his Wimbledon preparation but still deciding to compete in London. Felix was Roger’s first opponent born in the 2000s, and he did well to topple the legend in sets two and three and continue where he left in Stuttgart.
The young gun fired 13 aces and faced only one break point that cost him the first set. The Canadian had a massive advantage after that and sailed through his games. He converted three out of 15 break chances to leave Federer behind and move into the last eight.
The more experienced player defended all four break chances in the opening set and seized his only opportunity on the return to build the advantage. Servers barely lost a point in the opening five games before Federer faced two break points at 2-3.
Roger Federer lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime in Halle last year.
He saved them with booming serves and brought the game home to level the score at 3-3. The Swiss created the only break chance with a forehand down the line winner in the next game (150 km/h) and converted it with a backhand down the line winner for a 4-3 advantage.
Serving at 5-4, Roger fired two winners at 15-40 to erase break points and brought the set home with a volley winner for a boost. Felix lost only seven points behind the initial shot in set number two, keeping the pressure on the other side and seizing the ninth break chance since the start of the clash to grab the set and gain momentum.
Federer struggled on serve in games four and six and fell on the fifth break chance to find himself 4-2 down. Felix closed the set in style and pushed even harder in the decider after losing only two points behind the initial shot!
The Canadian grabbed two early breaks to race into a 4-0 lead and emerged at the top with an ace at 5-2. “Roger was in pain when he lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime in Halle last year. He knew he would not have a chance at Wimbledon, as his knee hurt a lot. We hoped for a miracle, but it did not happen,” Ivan Ljubicic said.