(Wimbledon) In his first appearance at Wimbledon as a retiree, Roger Federer received a royal welcome on Tuesday: the Swiss was inducted into the royal box on Center Court, where he sat alongside the Princess of Wales , Kate.
She arrived at 1:27 p.m. wearing an apple green jacket to attend a screening of a short film recounting Federer’s exploits at Wimbledon.
Then the loudspeaker announced “Ladies and gentlemen, Roger Federer!” “, and a standing ovation accompanied the entry of the champion in a light beige suit and dark tie, who positioned himself to the left of the Princess of Wales.
Endless applause followed, which the princess ended by sitting down and inviting the former player to do the same.
Defending champion Elena Rybakina and her opponent Shelby Rogers were then able to enter Center Court.
The first man to reach twenty Grand Slam titles (in 2018 in Australia), Federer holds the men’s record of eight titles at Wimbledon (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2017).
Novak Djokovic, who is aiming for a 24th Grand Slam title to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record, can also join the Swiss as the most successful player on the London turf. The absolute record of nine titles is held there by Martina Navratilova.
Now 41, Federer retired last September after a final team double with arch-rival Rafael Nadal in the Laver Cup.
A few months earlier, he had participated in a ceremony at Wimbledon in honor of the winners of the tournament and in the presence of most of them. But he hadn’t played.
So much so that the last match of his career dates back to the Wimbledon quarter-final in 2021, when he lost in his Center Court garden against the Pole Hubert Hurkacz, who inflicted a final defeat on him, in three sets and on one. 6-0 in the last set of his career.