In London On Tuesday, Roger Federer was honoured at a brief ceremony for his career and his men’s-record eight Wimbledon singles titles.
As he entered the Royal Box at Centre Court, the crowd, which included Princess Kate, gave him a standing ovation for 112 minutes. The retired Federer made his way to his seat in the reserved area above one of the baselines in the Grand Slam tournament’s main stadium while donning a cream-coloured suit with his purple All England Club member’s pin on a lapel, a striped shirt, and a polka-dot tie.
Federer waved and tapped his chest, repeatedly saying, “Thank you,” as the applause and roars cascaded under the closed retractable roof on a rainy Day 2 at the grass-court event that he once dominated.
Federer was recognized before the match at Centre Court began for “his contributions to tennis — and, in particular, to these very special lawns,” according to the announcer. Following a number of knee surgeries, Federer, who turns 42 on August 8, announced his retirement at the end of the previous year.
His final contest was a 2021 All England Club quarterfinal defeat against Hubert Hurkacz. A video highlight loop of Federer playing, triumphing, and speaking at Wimbledon, where he won the first of his 20 career Grand Slam titles in 2003, was shown during the ceremony on Tuesday. That was the beginning of a streak of five straight victories that lasted until 2007, then more titles there in 2009, 2012, and 2017.
“When I stop, the tournament still lives on. The tournament is bigger than any player who’s ever lived,” a younger Federer said in an interview shown during the film Tuesday. “I really look forward to the day where I retire and I can come back and just have tea time, you know, on the terrace.”
The video was interspersed with shots of various players speaking glowingly of Federer.
“Roger is legend. He makes every shot look easy,” 2022 Wimbledon runner-up Ons Jabeur said. Alex De Minaur spoke of Federer’s “masterful elegance on a tennis court.” Taylor Fritz called him an “inspiration,” Coco Gauff used the word “icon,” and current women’s No. 1 Iga Swiatek labeled Federer a “really special player.”
Who is Roger Federer?
Roger Federer is a Swiss former professional tennis player. He was ranked world No. 1 in singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for 310 weeks, including a record 237 consecutive weeks, and finished as the year-end No. 1 five times.
His 103 singles victories on the ATP Tour rank second all-time, and they include 20 major men’s singles titles, a record eight Wimbledon victories for men, a joint-record five US Open victories for men during the Open Era, and a record six year-end victories. He is considered as “the greatest and most successful” Swiss athlete in history in his native nation.
Federer, a former ball boy and the Wimbledon junior champion in 1998 won his first major singles championship at Wimbledon in 2003 at the age of 21.
Federer participated in 21 of the 28 major singles finals between 2003 and 2009. In 2004, 2006, and 2007, he won the ATP Finals, three of the four majors, and five US Open and Wimbledon championships in a row.
At the 2009 French Open, where he had lost to Nadal three times in a row, he completed the career Grand Slam. Nadal remained his major competitor until 2010. He broke Pete Sampras’ record of 14 major men’s singles victories at Wimbledon in 2009 at the age of 27.