Former British No 1 Tim Henman believes Roger Federer could be the biggest loser following the cancellation of this year’s Wimbledon Championship, with the eight-time champion at the All England Club set to be closing in on his 40th birthday by the time he stands on Wimbledon’s Centre Court next summer.
Federer will toast his 39th birthday in August and with Wimbledon called off due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Swiss grass-court king faces a long wait for another crack at his most successful Grand Slam event.
Federer lost out to Novak Djokovic in a gripping Wimbledon final last July after he beat his great rival Rafael Nadal in the semi-final, with Henman suggesting the elder statesman of the sport’s Big Three will lament the absence of Wimbledon in this year’s tennis diary.
“In the context of Federer being the oldest by some way, Wimbledon is now 15 months away once again and at this stage of his career, that is a very long way. There will be no-one more disappointed than him that this Wimbledon has been cancelled,” said Henman.
“When you are 38 and will be 39 later this year, it is a long period of time to wait for your favourite tournament. He will be keen to get back out there.
“Normally, when there is a catastrophe, it is a disaster that affects a country or a region if it is an earthquake, a flood or a famine. This has shut down the whole world, so whether you are a tennis player or whatever job you have, it will have a significant impact on you.”
Meanwhile, All England Club committee member Henman has revealed that branded merchandise for Wimbledon 2020 will be available even though the tournament is not going ahead.
“There are towels available for Wimbledon 2020,” he added. “I was speaking to the commercial director and obviously they have got tens of thousands of towels and they are confident that they are going to sell like hot cakes because it is the 2020 Championships that never happened.
“The balls will all be branded up with 2020 on them as well, so we will see what we can do with them. There is a lot of organising to be done on what we can do next and a lot of positive work that will go on from here.”
Listen to the full ‘Tim Henman Changing Room Chat’ in association with Henman Communications here – https://www.henmancom.com/index.php/changing-room-chat/
Follow Kevin Palmer on Twitter @RealKevinPalmer
Can you believe it is 32 years since Graf’s 6-0, 6-0 win?
Coco Gauff calls for change.
Giudicelli is adamant that Roland Garros 2020 will go ahead.
Pat Cash on the GOAT debate.
‘I don’t think it’ll be easy,’ says Ana Ivanovic.
Karolina Pliskova okay with playing without fans.
Tsitsipas insists he has what it takes to win a major.
Flushing Meadows to host back-to-back tournaments?
Spaniard was lasting improvements.