Roger Federer wows Wimbledon crowd from royal box | Inquirer Sports

Roger Federer wows Wimbledon crowd from royal box

/ 10:27 AM July 05, 2023

Roger Federer Wimbledon

Switzerland’s former tennis player Roger Federer (C) waves next to his wife Mirka (R) and Britain’s Catherine, Princess of Wales, (L) at the Centre Court on the second day of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 4, 2023. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

Wimbledon paid tribute to Roger Federer on Tuesday as the eight-time champion returned to the scene of his some of his greatest triumphs.

The Centre Court crowd gave the Swiss great a prolonged standing ovation interspersed with cheers as he entered the royal box.

Federer, fresh from appearing on stage with Coldplay in Zurich at the weekend, was visibly moved before taking his seat next to Catherine, the Princess of Wales.

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The 41-year-old has mostly stayed away from tennis since bowing out in emotional scenes at the Laver Cup in London in September but was similarly honoured at the grass-court event in Halle, Germany, last month.

Federer did return to Wimbledon last year to celebrate Centre Court’s centenary.

He found this year’s festivities more enjoyable because he is no longer battling with the injuries that finally convinced him to retire.

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“It feels OK now. Last year was hard, because I was still trying to play but struggling with my knee so bad,” Federer told CNN.

“Last year was the 100-year anniversary of Centre Court. I remember saying on court that I hope to see you next year. I truly meant that.

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“Funny enough, I don’t miss so much being out on court anymore just because I know the body couldn’t do it.

“It’s good that I can’t (play anymore), which then lets me watch and follow tennis as a total fan.”

Asked how he has adapted to life after tennis, Federer, married with four children, added: “I think planning ahead for personal moments with my family and friends, I think that’s what I enjoy the most.

“Life’s honestly been good. I didn’t play so much anymore at the end. So actually I feel like the transition was super smooth.”

The Federer celebration under the closed roof of Centre Court threatened to upstage the first match of the championship for Elena Rybakina, the defending women’s champion, who started her campaign with a three-set win over Shelby Rogers.

Federer, who ended his career with 20 Grand Slam titles, won his first Wimbledon title in 2003 and a record eighth men’s crown in 2017.

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He played his final match at the All England club in 2021, losing in the quarterfinals to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.

Novak Djokovic is the hot favourite to equal Federer’s Wimbledon mark this year and secure his 24th Grand Slam title.

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TAGS: Roger Federer, Wimbledon

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