Roger Federer has been struggling with a knee injury for almost three years. The Swiss has undergone three surgeries and played only six tournaments since the start of 2020. Roger decided to end his career at next week’s Laver Cup, unable to overcome the problems and play injury-free.
Federer has not played since Wimbledon last year, reaching the quarter-finals at the All England Club before undergoing his third surgery. A few weeks earlier, Federer embraced his 18th campaign in Halle, seeking the 11th title in one of his favorite events.
With his sights set on his 18th quarter-final at the prestigious event, Roger experienced a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime in one hour and 44 minutes. It was Federer’s earliest defeat in Halle, losing ground despite withdrawing from Roland Garros to prepare for the grass-court tour.
Roger’s coach Ivan Ljubicic said the Swiss felt the pain during those weeks, gathering dark clouds over his preparation for Wimbledon but still decided to compete in London. Felix was Roger’s first opponent born in the 2000s, and he did well to defeat the legend in sets two and three and pick up where he left off in Stuttgart.
The young gun fired 13 aces and faced just one break point that cost him the first set. The Canadian had a big lead after that and sailed through the games on him. He converted three of 15 break point opportunities to move past Federer and into the last eight.
The more experienced player defended all four break chances in the first set and converted his only chance on the return to build the lead. The servers barely dropped a point in the first 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 (150km/h) and converted it with a backhand down the line winner for a 4-3 lead.
Serving at 5-4, Roger fired two winners at 15-40 to erase break points and brought the set home with a volley winner to propel. Felix dropped just seven points behind the initial shot in set number two, keeping the pressure on the other side and converting on his ninth break chance from the start of the clash to take the set and gain momentum.
Federer struggled with his serve in games four and six and fell on the fifth break point to find himself down 4-2. Felix closed out the set in style and pushed further in the decider after losing just two points behind the initial shot!
The Canadian grabbed two early breaks to take a 4-0 lead and emerged on top with an ace at 5-2. «Roger was sore when he lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime in Halle last year. He knew he wouldn’t stand a chance at Wimbledon as his knee hurt so much. We were hoping for a miracle, but it didn’t happen.» Ivan. Ljubicic said.