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July 7, 2021

Roger Federer

Wimbledon, London, UK

Press Conference

H. HURKACZ/R. Federer

6-3, 7-6, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I just wonder what your emotions were at the end of the match, leaving the court to that terrific ovation?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it was tough, you know. The last few games obviously as you can feel that you're not coming back from it. I'm not used to that kind of situation obviously very much, especially not here.

Like you said, crowds were amazing. Yeah, the ovation is fantastic. Look, I love it. That's why I play. That's why I still play now. So it's nice to see a hundred percent crowd today. Unfortunately they witnessed a straight-sets defeat of mine.

Overall still, look, I'm super grateful for all the support I've gotten here over the years. Today again was special. You can see they're happy to be out, watching tennis, trying to get the players, the best out of them. Hubert played great. It was a tough end, of course.

Q. Was that the last time you'll play at Wimbledon, do you think, on Centre Court?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. I really don't know. I got to regroup. My goal was always for the last year and more to always try to play another Wimbledon. The initial goal, like you know, was to play last year. That was anyway never going to happen. Plus the pandemic hit.

I was able to make it this year, which I'm really happy about. Like I said, with everything that comes after Wimbledon, we were always going to sit down and talk about it because clearly now Wimbledon is over. I got to take a few days.

Obviously we're going to speak a little bit tonight, depending on how I feel, then the next couple of days as well. Then we go from there. Just see, Okay, what do I need to do to get in better shape so I can be more competitive.

I'm actually very happy I made it as far as I did here and I actually was able to play Wimbledon at the level that I did after everything I went through. Of course I would like to play it again, but at my age you're just never sure what's around the corner.

Q. Do you think you were still short of matches and that therefore your best level is still a couple of months away?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, look, I'm not sure if it's necessarily matches, to be honest, because the body actually overall feels fine from the matches. I'm happy I went through all the process of taking losses and trying to play in Paris and Geneva and Doha and Halle, getting myself into match toughness and fitness here in Wimbledon.

I definitely need to be a better player if I want to be more competitive at the highest of levels. I knew that coming in. Better players remind you of that, like Hurkacz and Felix did, for instance, in Halle. It gets tough when things get really tricky physically.

Q. Have you made a decision about the Olympics? If not, what is your kind of gut feeling right now?

ROGER FEDERER: No, no, like I explained before, I'm going to take a couple of days and sit down. I'm sorry if I'm repetitive. I said everything waits till Wimbledon is done. Wimbledon is done now. I haven't taken a decision yet where we go from here.

Yeah, I can't tell you anything more than that. I will sit down and hopefully make an announcement rather sooner than later, of course, also for me and everybody, my family and team, so forth.

Q. Just to clarify one of your earlier answers there where you're saying you're going to assess what you do next, are you able to confirm, is retirement an active possibility for the immediate future?

ROGER FEDERER: No, it's just about having perspective. You know you need a goal when you're going through rehab with what I did. You can't think of the entire mountain to climb as once. You got to go in steps. Wimbledon was the initial first super step, if you like.

For me, now that that's over, you just got to reassess everything. You got to sit down, talk about it, what went well, what didn't go so well, where is the body, where is the knee, where is the mind. As you can see, it was a struggle for me and putting in extra effort all the time, especially when things get difficult against Felix in Halle or today against Hurkacz.

I knew it was going to be really hard, to be honest. Now I just got to talk to the team, take my time, not feel rushed by you guys or anybody else, for that matter. I got to take my time, take the right decision, the one decision I want to take and where I feel most comfortable.

That's where it leaves me. But, no, I hope not that that's going to happen. The goal is to play, of course (smiling).

Q. You seemed like you had quite a lot of momentum coming into the match from your previous couple of rounds. Did you sort of expect yourself to play better today? Did you feel like you were ready to make another step?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I thought I had a decent chance going into the match. I felt like if I can protect my serve, I would get chances off his second serve and I would get into the rallies I would like, have them go rather my way.

But I struggled early on in that first set. I felt like with my serve my rhythm was a little bit off. Put myself in too many difficult situations and didn't take my own chances. I think that first set, I feel like I need to do better. Okay, credit to him for getting that one done.

Second set I got to find a way to win it somehow. Obviously being up a break, was it 4-1, I got to find a way to win that. The breaker was a brutal first six points of the breaker to go down 4-2 and change ends and go against the wind. I knew that wasn't going to be great for me.

Then being down two sets to love, with his momentum and swinging his way, things got complicated.

Look, he was the better player by far at the end, so he deserved the victory today.

Q. How would you describe the work you had to put in after the surgeries and what you learned from that, getting this far after that?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, the process was incredibly slow. I was hoping for faster recovery, to be honest. Like I explained, the goal was to compete already for Wimbledon last year. I barely made it sort of for this year, I feel like.

It was a long, hard road. I said it many times before, I actually kind of enjoyed it. It was always uphill. As slow as it was, it was always moving forward. I haven't done that kind of - how do you say - like a rehab in the past. I enjoy new things, even though it's maybe more of a negative thing to go through.

I don't know. I'm not going to get depressed doing rehab as you're trying and have a goal. The goal is first to walk again without crutches. Then the goal is to be able to start running again. From then on it starts to do side-to-side stuff. Then you're back on the tennis court.

The process really is actually one I enjoyed. We always wished it would go faster, but at the same time the team and me, we all decided we're only going to the next step once it's really solidified so we don't have any setbacks. I'm happy we went that route, because I didn't have any setbacks.

But clearly there's still a lot of things missing in my game that maybe 10, 15, 20 years ago were very simple and very normal for me to do. Nowadays they don't happen naturally anymore. I got to always put in the extra effort mentally to remind myself, Remember to do this or do that.

I have a lot of ideas on the court, but sometimes I can't do what I want to do. I think it's a bit of a tricky situation sometimes, come tough matches against great players.

I feel like I made the most of it. The team and me were actually very happy I made it as far as the quarters here. Even though of course I'm disappointed I lost today, I feel like there was a chance, but again, that's how it goes. I'll be fine. I have perspective about it, so it's all good.

Q. If I could ask you, we know you've been through a lot over the last 18 months, is this loss just as hard as any other loss? Is it a bit easier to take because of what you've been through? How long do you think it would take to get over?

ROGER FEDERER: Good question. I don't know.

I felt very disappointed in the moment itself. I still am. At the same time there's always a weight that falls off your shoulders when a tournament is over, when a huge goal is made or missed. It doesn't matter actually. You feel the weight is gone and you're exhausted. I feel horribly exhausted. I could go for a nap right now. That's how I feel.

It's a funny feeling to have, to be honest. You put everything on the line, and when it's all over you could just go sleep because you're so exhausted from the mental, pushing yourself forward, and trying everything.

Like you said, the last 18 months have been long and hard. Then again, if I take the perspective, I'm always very happy about a lot of things that happened the last few weeks, the last few months.

I know will be upbeat again shortly. I know how I am in these situations. I feel like I go maybe very hard on myself, I get very sad, and then go by a few hours, I mean, maybe even a few days, who knows, I don't think so, then I'll be totally fine again and be my old self.

I just think I need to speak to the team, get it all out, hear what they have to say, tell them how I felt, and then we go from there.

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