Wimbledon 2019: Swiss ace Roger Federer readies to defy age to lift ninth title at SW19, twenty years after indifferent debut

Federer, who turns 38 in August, is already the oldest player to win the Wimbledon men's title in the modern era, a feat achieved in 2017 when he was 35.

Agence France-Presse June 26, 2019 10:58:09 IST
Wimbledon 2019: Swiss ace Roger Federer readies to defy age to lift ninth title at SW19, twenty years after indifferent debut
  • Federer, who turns 38 in August, is already the oldest player to win the Wimbledon men's title in the modern era, a feat achieved in 2017 when he was 35

  • Despite his lifetime affection for the All England Club, the tussle to add to his London silverware has become increasingly fraught

  • Last year, Federer was beaten by Kevin Anderson in the quarter-finals in a 13-11 final set

Twenty years after his debut, Roger Federer will take aim at a ninth Wimbledon title and a place in history as the oldest man to capture a Grand Slam singles crown.

Federer, who turns 38 in August, is already the oldest player to win the Wimbledon men's title in the modern era, a feat achieved in 2017 when he was 35.

Australia's Ken Rosewall was only just past 37 when he won the 1972 Australian Open, an age barrier Federer hopes to smash when Wimbledon starts Monday.

Wimbledon 2019 Swiss ace Roger Federer readies to defy age to lift ninth title at SW19 twenty years after indifferent debut

Roger Federer will be gunning for his 21st major at the Wimbledon. AP

"I love being around here. It's a good vibe. I have great memories. My heroes all won here," said 20-time major winner Federer.

"Every time I come back here, I try to be like them."

However, despite his lifetime affection for the All England Club, the tussle to add to his London silverware has become increasingly fraught.

His eighth and most recent Wimbledon title came off a straight-sets demolition of an injury-hit and tearful Marin Cilic in 2017 final.

Federer was a force of nature that year, not dropping a set in the entire fortnight as title rivals fell by the wayside.

Novak Djokovic retired with an elbow injury in the last-eight against Tomas Berdych while Rafael Nadal was stunned by Gilles Muller 15-13 in the final set of his last-16 engagement.

Federer's seventh Wimbledon title had come five years earlier with a final win over Andy Murray.

His first six arrived in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009.

But 2017 aside, recent trips to London have proved disappointing for the Swiss star whose first experience of Wimbledon was an opening-round loss to Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic in 1999.

In 2013, he was shocked in the second round by Ukrainian serve-and-volleying journeyman Sergei Stakhovsky.

The next two seasons saw runners-up finishes to Djokovic while the 2016 campaign ended with a five-set loss in the semi-finals, blown away by the heavy artillery of Milos Raonic.

Last year was particularly painful for Federer, beaten by Kevin Anderson in the quarter-finals in a 13-11 final set.

"The losses hurt more, that you don't want to be on the loser's side. It motivates me to do extremely well here because I don't want to sit here and explain my loss.

"That's the worst feeling you can have as a tennis player," he said in the aftermath of that loss to the giant South African in a tie where he held match points in the fourth set.

Despite that shattering loss 12 months ago, Federer will still go into this year's Wimbledon as one of the favourites alongside four-time champion Djokovic.

Having seen Nadal win a 12th Roland Garros to move within two majors of Federer's record 20 for the first time, the Swiss headed to Halle where he won a 10th title at the grasscourt event.

"To win 10 times in one place is a very special moment in my career," said Federer who now has 102 career titles, just seven off the all-time record held by Jimmy Connors.

It also made him the oldest tour-level champion since 43-year-old Rosewall won at Hong Kong in 1977.

"Every time I've won in Halle, I went on to play really well at Wimbledon," added Federer.

"It's never a guarantee of course, but I've been on the Tour for long enough to know what it means."

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu to miss remainder of 2020 season to focus on 'health and training'
Sports

Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu to miss remainder of 2020 season to focus on 'health and training'

Andreescu, who beat Serena Williams at Flushing Meadows 12 months ago to become Canada's first Grand Slam singles champion, has not played a match since hurting her knee last October at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

Professional tennis player, former cricketer Ashleigh Barty wins golf tournament in COVID-19 break
Sports

Professional tennis player, former cricketer Ashleigh Barty wins golf tournament in COVID-19 break

Barty proved she has what it takes on a course designed by Greg Norman, claiming the Brookwater Golf Club women's title near Brisbane with a commanding 7 and 5 triumph in the matchplay final.

Italian Open 2020: Simona Halep wins first title in Rome after Karolina Pliskova retires injured
Sports

Italian Open 2020: Simona Halep wins first title in Rome after Karolina Pliskova retires injured

World number two Halep, 28, was competing in her third Rome WTA final, having finished runner-up in 2017 and 2018 on the clay at the Foro Italico.