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Roger Federer returned to Wimbledon on Sunday wearing a dark suit and looking like James Bond.
Next year he hopes to be back wearing all whites and playing tennis at the All-England Club.
“I hope I can come back one more time,” the 20-time major champion and eight-time Wimbledon winner said to huge applause at a celebration honoring 100 years of Centre Court play.
Federer hasn’t played since losing to Hubert Hurkacz in the Wimbledon quarterfinals a year ago, getting bageled 6-0 in the third set. He underwent a third knee surgery and will turn 41 in August.
“I’ve missed being here,” Federer said. “I would have loved to be here. I knew walking out here last year, it was gonna be a tough year ahead. Maybe I didn’t think it was gonna take me this long to come back but the knee has been rough on me. But I’ve been happy.”
Federer plans to return at Laver Cup in London Sept. 23-25 and then play the Swiss Indoors in October.
“I personally miss Roger in the tennis tour and tennis of course miss him, tournaments, fans, everyone,” 22-time major champion Rafael Nadal said Saturday. “… I think Roger Federer is important in every single tournament. Not only Wimbledon. He’s a well missed player in every single event of tennis, without a doubt.”
Federer’s agent Tony Godsick gave a timeline on Federer’s return in May.
“He won’t rush back this time,” Godsick told Standard Sport. “He will have to be 100% and know he’s 100% and that’s why he’s taking his time doing heavy rehab and training. It’s not just when knee feels good but building up the muscles and getting lungs back. I know he’s encouraged where he is.
“I don’t want to be the doctor but what I hope for him is to able to have a great rehab this summer, play some in the fall and give a nice shot at 2023, and then see what happens. I haven’t talked to him about that.
Godsick added of Wimbledon: “It was a great effort last year on one leg. And I think he’d like another Wimbledon. That place has been incredibly special to him.”