Roger Federer to be honoured by Wimbledon, but AELTC keeps fans waiting with ‘more to follow’ tease

Roger Federer with 2017 Wimbledon trophy

Roger Federer will return to the hallowed Wimbledon turf this summer as he will be honoured, but the All England Tennis Club (AELTC) is yet to confirm how exactly they will be celebrating his achievements.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner called time on his glorious tennis career in September last year as he bowed out after struggling to overcome a knee injury, with his last-ever singles match coming at Wimbledon in 2021 when he lost in the quarter-final against Hubert Hurkacz.

Federer, of course, has always been a fan favourite at SW19 as he holds the record for most men’s singles trophies and the last of his eight titles came in 2017. He won five in a row from 2003 to 2007 while his other two titles came in 2009 and 2012.

The Swiss great, though, didn’t get a chance to wave goodbye to his supporters at SW19 as he had hoped to return for the 2022 Wimbledon edition, but he failed to fully recover and eventually decided to bring the curtain down on his career.

However, he will be able to say farewell as he will be back at SW19 this year as his achievements will be celebrated, but organisers are tight-lipped about the celebrations.

AELTC chairman Ian Hewtt said: “He is a very great champion. We have a very close association. I am delighted to say that Roger will be making a visit here as a member.

“He is very welcome any time. And yes, we will be celebrating his achievements in an appropriate Wimbledon way in due course. More to follow.”

Roger Federer’s Wimbledon record

Besides holding the record for most titles won by a man in the Open Era, Federer also finished runner-up on four occasions (2008, 2014, 2015, 2019).

He played 119 matches at the grass-court Grand Slam, winning 105 for a win-loss record of 88 per cent. In total he appeared in the main draw at Wimbledon 22 times and on only four occasions did he fail to make it to the second week with three of those coming before he won his first title in 2003.

Federer made his debut at Wimbledon in 1999, but he officially put his name in the stars in 2001 by defeating his childhood hero Pete Sampras in the fourth round – ending the American’s 31-match winning streak at the tournament.

Two years after his win over Sampras, he broke his major duck as he defeated Mark Philippoussis 7–6 (7-5), 6–2, 7–6 (7-3) in the final to win the title.

He would remain unbeaten at Wimbledon until July 2008 when he finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal in a glorious final that lasted four hours and 48 minutes.

The Swiss great returned to the throne the following year, but he suffered surprise quarter-final defeats in 2010 and 2011 before winning title No 6 in 2012.

Federer would run into an inspired Novak Djokovic in the 2014 and 2015 finals as the Serbian started to dominate at Wimbledon, but he still had one more golden moment at Wimbledon in 2017 as he beat Marin Cilic to win his eighth title.

He last chance for glory at the Championships came in 2019 as he had two match points against Djokovic in the final, but the Serbian held firm to win the longest-ever Wimbledon final in four hours and 57 minutes.