Roger Federer has been battling a knee injury for almost three years. The Swiss underwent three surgeries and has only played six tournaments since the beginning of 2020. Roger has decided to retire from the Laver Cup next week as he was unable to overcome the problems and play injury free.
Federer has not played since Wimbledon last year and reached the quarter-finals at the All England Club before undergoing the third operation. A few weeks earlier, Federer took on his 18th season in Halle, aiming for his 11th title at one of his favorite events.
Roger saw his 18th quarter-final at the prestigious event, losing to Felix Auger-Aliassime 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 44 minutes. It was Federer’s earliest defeat in Halle, he was losing ground, though he retired from Roland Garros to prepare for the turf swing.
Rogers coach Ivan Ljubicic said the Swiss had been feeling pain these 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, picking up where he left off in Stuttgart.
The young savage blasted 13 aces and faced just one break point that cost him the opener. The Canadian had a massive advantage after that and sailed through his games. He converted three of 15 break chances to overtake Federer and move into the last eight.
The more experienced player saved all four break chances in the opening set and used his only chance on the return to extend the advantage. The servers barely lost a point in their first five games before Federer was faced with 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 player had the only break chance in the next game (150 km/h) with a forehand down-the-line winner and turned it into a 4:3 lead with a backhand down-the-line winner.
Serving 5-4, Roger fired two winners at 15-40 to erase break points and brought the set home for a boost with a volley winner. Felix dropped just seven points behind the initial shot in set number two, keeping the pressure on at the other end and using the ninth break chance since the start of the duel to take the set and gain momentum.
Federer struggled with serve in games four and six, falling on the fifth break chance to lose 4-2. Felix finished the set in style, pushing even harder in the decider after dropping just two points short of the initial shot!
The Canadian grabbed two early breaks to take a 4-0 lead, going 5-2 up with an ace. “Roger was in pain when he lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime in Halle last year. He knew he wouldn’t stand a chance at Wimbledon as his knee was so sore. We were hoping for a miracle, but it didn’t happen,” said Ivan Ljubicic.