Dark suit and tie, white jacket and shoes, All England Club member badge hanging on the jacket, Roger Federer, true to himself, made a very classy appearance this Sunday at Wimbledon, where he was invited by the organizers for a ceremony organized on the occasion of the centenary of the stadium, before the opening match on the Center Court between Heather Watson and Jule Niemeier.
Beaten last year in the quarter-finals by Hubert Hurkacz, the Swiss, eight-time Wimbledon winner, is not taking part in the tournament this year for the first time since 1997 (he won the juniors in 1998 and made his first appearance in the singles gentlemen in 1999). A few weeks after his loss to Hurkacz, he underwent further knee surgery and has been absent from the courts ever since.
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We therefore saw him again this Sunday on the Center Court on the occasion of a moving ceremony which paraded an audience of 23 former champions, from Stan Smith to Novak Djokovic via Stefan Edberg, Margaret Court, Chris Evert, John McEnroe, Rod Laver, Björn Borg or Billie Jean King. A ceremony at which Federer took the floor saying: “I miss Wimbledon. I knew when I left the court last year that the coming year would be tough. I hope to be able to come back once again. I didn’t think it would take so long to get back on the circuit. The knee was not kind to me.“
It is 100 years this year that the legendary Center Court of Wimbledon was built and that the tournament took up residence in its current grounds on Church Road. From 1877 to 1922, it took place not far from there, in Worple Road. Faced with the growing success of the event, which has become increasingly popular, in particular thanks to the exploits of the Frenchwoman Suzanne-Lenglen, the organizers have decided to move to a larger site.
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