Jul 04, 2022

By Jane Brown

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As he has done so many times before, Roger Federer stepped onto Centre Court at Wimbledon.

But this time, the legendary tennis player was wearing a suit and tie, rather than traditional Wimbledon whites.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 03: Roger Federer of Switzerland greets the audience during the Centre Court Centenary Celebration during day seven of The Championships Wimbledon 2022 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 03, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Shi Tang/Getty Images)

The 40-year-old attended the tournament’s Centre Court Centenary Celebration on Sunday.

“This court has given me my biggest wins and my biggest losses. I hope I can come back one more time,” Federer, absent from this year’s main draw for the first time since 1998 because of injury, told the ecstatic crowd.

The 20-time grand slam champion, (8 of those won at Wimbledon) who turns 41 next month, was among a number of former winners who took part in a parade around the famous arena.

He last played at Wimbledon in 2021, suffering a shock defeat by Hubert Hurkacz in the quarterfinals, and has not played competitively since that loss as he underwent another knee operation, his third since 2020, shortly after.

Federer announced his arrival as a world-class player in 2001, knocking out the great Pete Sampras, and went on to dominate at the height of his powers.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 16: Roger Federer of Switzerland kisses the trophy as he celebrates victory after the Gentlemen’s Singles final against Marin Cilic of Croatia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 16, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

He last won the grass court grand slam in 2017.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play a lot of matches on this court,” he added. “It feels awkward to be here in a different type of role. It’s great to be here with all the other champions.”

The Swiss great is plotting his comeback, confirming earlier this year that he will play at the Laver Cup in September and the Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel, Switzerland in October.

“It’s been a good year regardless of tennis … I’m happy standing here right now,” he said.

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