Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer
Roger Federer crashes out of Wimbledon to impressive Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets - GETTY IMAGES

Roger Federer crashes out of Wimbledon to impressive Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets – GETTY IMAGES

Roger Federer’s Wimbledon dream is over for another year. On a gusty day on Centre Court, Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz was too strong for the king of grass, who has gambolled pleasingly through this tournament without ever quite suggesting that he was a serious contender.

It was Federer’s first straight-sets defeat at Wimbledon since 2002, the year before he won his first major title here and so became the charismatic, all-conquering champion that tennis had been hoping to discover for years. And yes, it did feel like the end of an era.

Will we see Federer play here again? As with Andy Murray and the Williams sisters, that is a difficult question to answer. At the time of writing – and Federer may give us a clue later on tonight – there were too many imponderables of form and fitness to make a confident prediction.

But if this were to be the last time, it wasn’t a bad way to go. Despite the one-sided scoreline – 6-3, 7-6, 6-0, which made this the heaviest defeat he has ever suffered on these lawns – Federer played a decent match in front of an enthusiastic and well-stocked Centre Court. The ovation before his final service game was spine-tingling.

In the end, though, he was simply upstaged by an outstanding opponent in the 6ft 5in Hurkacz, aka The Incredible Hurk, who brings the same gangling, disruptive energy to the court as a young Andy Murray. Immediately after that last, sinew-stiffening ovation, Hurkacz drilled a clean winner up Federer’s left sideline, followed by another up the right sideline.

He was a respectful opponent, but he was not here to bow down at Federer’s feet. Instead, he was rather enjoying the creativity of the rallies, and the mix of pace and trajectory, because he has some of the best hands in the game. The statisticians totted up 36 clean winners for Hurkacz, but only 12 unforced errors, which suggests a truly outstanding performance.

In the end, one more wayward Federer forehand slid into the doubles alley and the job was done in 1hr 49min of high-class tennis. The third set delivered only the second “bagel” – or 6-0 scoreline – that Federer has suffered in the 21st Century, after the infamous beasting he received in the 2008 French Open final from Rafael Nadal.

Federer waved to the crowd as he shouldered his bag and left the court, but not in any way that suggested any particular finality. In all probability, he has no idea where he intends to go from here, as this tournament would have eclipsed everything else on his To-Do list. A run to the quarter-final is still an extraordinary feat for a 39-year-old who was playing only his 13th match since the start of the pandemic. But this is Federer – a man who holds himself to different standards than the rest of us.

To return to tennis mechanics, Federer was surely not helped by the unpredictable wind, which had left even Novak Djokovic struggling for timing in the previous match. Neither has he moved as well as we expect, and remember, throughout this fortnight.

After his previous win over Lorenzo Sonego, he insisted that there was no difference in the Wimbledon grass this year, but how often have we seen him lose his balance or even tumble over completely? I don’t know the answer, but I feel like it must be in double-figures.

One vital moment of this kind arrived in the second-set tie-break, with Hurkacz leading 3-2. Federer drilled a lovely forehand up the line, rushed in to make a lovely volley, and then seemed poised to punch a lovely overhead into the open court. But his back foot slipped as he set himself and he barely made contact at all.

The TV director cannily switched to a slow motion shot of the crowd, open-mouthed in shock. For this was a simply unheard-of event: not only a straightforward volley that had been botched, but a moment when the world’s most elegant athlete found himself in an awkward position, stumbling forward towards the net like a diver who has slipped on the board.

Sport can be cruel to its ageing heroes, and this scoreline might look unkind. But Federer has added so much to the 2021 edition of Wimbledon. We can only pray that he will return for more next year.

As it happened

05:44 PM

That’s all folks.

Federer came into the match dreaming of a ninth Wimbledon title but leaves wondering about his future in the sport after a disappointing defeat to the impressive Hurkacz.

Tomorrow is women’s semi-final day so join us again for that. And if you are interested, there’s a small football game taking place at Wembley today which you can read about here.

05:33 PM

Boris Becker’s Federer doubts

Speaking in the aftermath of the match, Becker believes the lack of matches caught up with Federer.

He said: “There are certain rules even Roger Federer has to obey- and it’s matches. You don’t get that in practice.

“You only find out how good you are when you put yourself in that position, and today he wasn’t good enough.”

05:29 PM

Hurkacz speaks

It’s super special for me to play in this special court against Roger. It’s a dream come true.

I’m super-proud and super-happy to be here. I cannot wait for the next one

05:18 PM

The winning point

05:12 PM

Federer* 3-6, 6-7, 0-6 Hurkacz

Hurkacz forehand winner, 0-15. Hurkacz backhand winner, 0-30. Hurkacz backhand long, 15-30. Federer backhand wide, 15-40. Two match points.

Federer forehand wide. GAME. SET. MATCH. What a performance.

05:08 PM

Federer 3-6, 6-7, 0-5 Hurkacz*

Hurkacz forehand winner, 30-30. Break point Federer as he draws the error from Hurkacz. Hurkacz saves it with a backhand too strong for Federer. Deuce.

Hurkacz forehand winner to hold. He won’t lose it from here.

05:04 PM

Federer* 3-6, 6-7, 0-4 Hurkacz

Federer forehand long, 15-30. Too good from Hurkacz as he drills a backhand down the line and Federer can’t get the ball back in play, two break points. Federer saves the first.

But not the second as he puts a tame forehand into the net.

05:00 PM

Federer 3-6, 6-7, 0-3 Hurkacz*

Hurkacz ace to start the game. But he then nets a backhand, 15-15. Hurkacz forehand winner, 40-15. Hurkacz holds as Federer’s backhand flies long.

04:57 PM

Federer* 3-6, 6-7, 0-2 Hurkacz

Hurkacz forehand winner, 30-15. Hurkacz lobs Federer and the Swiss hits a backhand long, 30-30. Federer forehand into the net, break point Hurkacz. Federer flicked volley winner, deuce.

Federer nets a backhand volley on the stretch, second break point. Federer forehand on line, huge shot. Deuce.

Hurkacz is not letting Federer out of this game. Third break point as Federer puts a forehand wide. Federer forehand into the net, Hurkacz breaks.

04:49 PM

Third set: Federer 3-6, 6-7, 0-1 Hurkacz*

The last time Federer came back from two sets down? Wimbledon 2016 against Marin Cilic in the last eight.

Federer forehand winner, 0-30. Federer shanks a forehand wide, 30-30. Hurkacz ace, 40-30. Another big serve by Hurkacz to hold.

04:44 PM

Federer 3-6, 6-7 Hurkacz – TIEBREAK

Hurkacz cross-court forehand winner, 0-1. Federer drills a backhand at Hurkacz and draws the error, 1-1. Hurkacz comes out on top in a duel at the net, 1-2. Federer ace, 2-2. Federer nets a driver forehand, 2-3. Federer slips and misses the ball, 2-4.

Excellent Federer return, 3-4. Federer forehand into the net, 3-5. Big Federer serve, 4-5. Hurkacz forehand winner, 4-6. Big Hurkacz first serve, 4-7.

04:37 PM

Federer 3-6, 6-6 Hurkacz*

Perfect start by Hurkacz as he slams down an ace. But he then nets a forehand volley, 15-15. Federer shanks a forehand long, 30-15. Federer forehand into the net, his ninth off that wing in this set.

Hurkacz ace. Tiebreak time.

04:33 PM

Federer* 3-6, 6-5 Hurkacz

Federer holds to 30 to book himself a tiebreak. Can Hurkacz join him?

04:31 PM

Federer 3-6, 5-5 Hurkacz*

Big Hurkacz serve, 15-15. Then an ace, 30-15. Hurkacz forehand wide, 30-30. Federer return mis-hit, 40-30.

Federer nets a forehand. Opportunity missed.

04:27 PM

Federer* 3-6, 5-4 Hurkacz

Better from Federer as he holds to love with a backhand volley winner. Huge game coming up.

04:25 PM

Federer 3-6, 4-4 Hurkacz*

Hurkacz is full of confidence as he moves to 30-0. Federer smash winner, 30-15. Federer return into the net, 40-15.

Another poor return by Federer, Hurkacz holds.

04:22 PM

Federer* 3-6, 4-3 Hurkacz

Hurkacz forehand return winner, 0-15. Federer backhand into the net, 0-30. Federer forehand into the net, three break points for Hurkacz.

Federer saves the first with a big first serve. Deep Hurkacz return and Federer nets a backhand. Back on serve in the second set.

04:19 PM

Federer 3-6, 4-2 Hurkacz*

Federer drop shot return winner, Hurkacz barely moved, exquisite, 15-15. Federer backhand winner, 30-30.

Hurkacz ace to hold.

04:15 PM

Federer* 3-6, 4-1 Hurkacz

Federer serve and volley winner, 30-0. Always lovely to see. Excellent Hurkacz backhand pass, 30-15. Federer forehand long, 30-30.

Federer sees out the danger with a forehand winner.

04:12 PM

Federer 3-6, 3-1 Hurkacz*

Hurkacz hits a drop shot winner to go 40-15 in front then nets a drop shot, 40-30. Hurkacz forehand wide, deuce. An opening for Federer.

But Hurkacz serves out the game to get on the scoreboard in this set.

04:07 PM

Federer* 3-6, 3-0 Hurkacz

Federer nets a forehand, 15-30. Hurkacz return into the net, 30-30. Federer shanks a backhand long, break point Hurkacz.

Wind and bad bounce catches out Hurkacz. Deuce. Hurkacz drop shot winner, excellent shot selection. Break point. Federer volley winner, deuce.

Federer backhand is called wide, another Hurkacz break point. Federer forehand winner, clutch point.

Big hold for Federer as Hurkacz puts a forehand wide.

04:00 PM

Federer 3-6, 2-0 Hurkacz*

Stunning Federer sliced backhand return off Hurkacz’s second serve, 0-30. Hurkacz backhand long, three break points.

Federer is off target with a forehand on the first. Hurkacz ace on the second. Hurkacz double fault. Federer breaks.

A gift for the Swiss.

03:55 PM

Second set: Federer* 3-6, 1-0 Hurkacz

Fabolous drop shot by Hurkacz, 30-15. He’s enjoying himself right now. Federer ace, 40-15.

Hurkacz return long allows Federer to hold.

03:52 PM

Federer 3-6 Hurkacz*

Federer forehand winner to start the game, 0-15. Hurkacz volley winner, 15-15. Big first serve by Hurkacz is too much for Federer. Hurkacz forehand winner, two set points.

Federer forehand return into the net and Hurkacz takes the opening set.

03:49 PM

Federer* 3-5 Hurkacz

Federer holds to 15. Pressure onto Hurkacz now.

03:46 PM

Federer 2-5 Hurkacz*

Two unforced errors to start the game from Federer, 30-0. Hurkacz then nets a drop shot. And Federer puts another forehand wide. The Swiss hasn’t found his range yet.

Federer backhand long, Hurkacz consolidates the break.

03:43 PM

Federer* 2-4 Hurkacz

Hurkacz cross court backhand winner to start the game, 0-15. Hurkacz forehand long, 15-15. Federer misjudges a Hurkacz return and the ball drops in, 15-30.

Tricky conditions with the wind. Hurkacz lob flies wide. Federer forehand wide, break point Hurkacz.

Hurkacz volley winner and he breaks. He deserves that. Started very well.

03:39 PM

Federer 2-3 Hurkacz*

Hurkacz holds to love as Federer sprays the ball around Centre Court.

03:36 PM

Federer* 2-2 Hurkacz

Federer forehand into the net, 0-15. Federer forehand flies wide. An opening for Hurkacz.

Federer double fault, three break points. Federer saves the first with a forehand winner.

He saves the second when Hurkacz nets a return. And saves the third with a forehand winner. Deuce.

And Federer escapes with his serve.

03:32 PM

Federer 1-2 Hurkacz*

Bad miss by Federer as he puts a mid-court forehand long, 15-0. Hurkacz forehand long, 30-15.

Big Hurkacz serve down the T followed by an ace allows him to hold again. The 24-year-old has settled into the match well.

03:29 PM

Federer* 1-1 Hurkacz

Winners off the backhand and forehand wings to start the game, 30-0. Another forehand winner makes it 40-0.

And the Swiss holds with his fourth winner of the game. Wow.

03:27 PM

First set: Roger Federer 0-1 Hubert Hurkacz* (*denotes server)

Federer won the toss and puts Hurkacz’s in to serve first.

And the giant Pole double faults on his second serve of the match, 15-15. Hurkacz forehand wide, 15-30.

129mph Hurkacz ace, 30-30. Federer nets a forehand return but Hurkacz puts a forehand into the net on the next point. Deuce.

And Hurkacz holds with a sweet backhand down the line.

03:19 PM

Federer and Hurkacz walk on

A warm ovation for both players as they stride onto court. The forecast rain thankfully hasn’t arrived.

03:04 PM

Djokovic through to the semi-finals

We have our first semi-finalist and unsurpsingly it is the World No 1.

He beat Marton Fucsovics 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and that paves the way for Federer and Hurkacz to get ready to come onto Centre Court.

02:49 PM

Good afternoon!

Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s coverage of Roger Federer vs Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon.

After a nervy opening match, Roger Federer has moved through the gears to reach the last night, where he will play young Pole Hubert Hurkacz.

“Roger, what he does, the way he plays, the titles he has won _ he has inspired so many people,” Hurkacz said. “Being out there playing quarterfinals against him, it’s really amazing.”

Hurkacz earned that matchup by coming from behind to beat Daniil Medvedev 2-6, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. That match resumed on Tuesday under the roof on Centre Court after being suspended overnight in the fourth set because of rain; it had started at No 2 Court, which does not have a retractable cover.

It was the only fourth-round match that wasn’t completed Monday, which means Hurkacz is the only man who didn’t get a full day’s rest before the quarterfinals.

What he did get, though, was a chance to play on Centre Court for the first time. That may be even more important when it comes to preparing for the 39-year-old Federer _ who has been a regular on that particular court for the last two decades.

“I think actually playing today might have helped me because I got used to the indoor conditions, the conditions on the big court, how the ball bounces there, all the crowd,” Hurkacz said.

That crowd, which was at full capacity for the first time this year after COVID-19 restrictions were eased, certainly appreciated his old-school style of attacking the net often against the big-hitting Medvedev. Hurkacz won 50 points at the net, including 10 when playing serve-and-volley.

That may not be enough to win over the crowd against Federer, the perennial fan favorite.

“I’ll be hoping to get a little bit of support,” Hurkacz said with a laugh.

Hurkacz has played Federer once before, losing in straight sets in the Indian Wells quarterfinals in 2019.