Roger Federer: ‘At my age, there are question marks everywhere’

Twenty-two years after making a debut at Wimbledon, Roger Federer is still among the players to beat at the All England Club. A couple of weeks before turning 40, Roger is through to his 18th Wimbledon quarter-final following a 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Lorenzo Sonego on Monday. The match went on with the roof above the players since the end of the opening set, and Roger found a way to adjust to the new conditions and bring the victory home in two hours and 11 minutes. After a tight opener, Federer dropped only nine points behind the initial shot in sets two and three to stand above the Italian and advance into the quarter-final two decades after doing that for the first time. 

“To some extent, it’s nice to see that the work I put in paid off and that I’m able to play at this level with best-of-five sets. When you’re young, you don’t ask yourself the question. But when you’re me, with the year I had, it’s all question marks all over the place. You have to prove it again to yourself that you can actually do it. I was willing to take losses for the sake of information, just to be out there and get the body in shape for when Wimbledon comes around, that I can actually wake up in the morning and feel all right and still go out and play five sets. I feel that way, so it’s very rewarding and a good feeling. Now we’ll see how much more I’ve got left in the tank.

Roger Federer is still among the title contenders at Wimbledon at 39.

Clearly, it was important again to win in straight sets, and I’m looking forward to the next round. It was exciting when the roof shut again towards the end of the first set. I could see that it was getting a bit more slippery again. The humidity goes up, whereas I didn’t break a sweat really on the outside. It was windy and fresh. Still, it played faster. When you play indoors, it’s just much slower. I think that was definitely one of the reasons I struggled against Mannarino. On top of it, he got the upper hand from the baseline. It’s just amazing the difference an indoor and an outdoor situation can do.

You would think that indoors is easier to ace, but I don’t feel it’s the case. I feel like you have to put extra power in your shots so that something happens. That was one of the reasons I struggled early on because you can become very insecure when you don’t get your service winners. I’ve had some good progress, and I’m taking the ball earlier. Obviously, I’ve gotten used to the conditions, the balls and the court speed. I’m able to take more balls on the rise, on the half-volley. All these little things make a difference at the end of the day,” Roger Federer said.

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