Roger Federer finally looked 39. The 8-time champion was bundled out of the Wimbledon quarterfinals Wednesday with great ease by a cool and calm Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-0 in just 1 hour, 49 minutes.
Federer, who was appearing in his 18th Wimbledon quarterfinal, showed early signs of trouble. The forehand was misfiring and the footwork wasn’t there. Hurkacz got a break in the 2-3 game and the 24-year-old rode his serve to an opening set win.
Federer was able to break early but the errors crept back in and Hurkacz was able to level. In the breaker, Federer fell apart. A poor volley and an off balanced miss on an overhead, and the youngster would hold a two set lead.
The third went the way of Hurkacz and Federer suffered his first bagel set ever at Wimbledon and first at a Grand Slam since that 2008 French Open nightmare against Rafael Nadal.
“It’s super special for me, playing on this special court against Roger,” Hurkacz told the crowd. ” The special things he has done here throughout his career, it’s a dream come true. Playing here in front of you guys, thank you so much for coming here and cheering. I’m super proud and super happy to be here. I can’t wait for the next one.”
Hurkacz becomes the second Polish man to make a Grand Slam semifinal after Jerzy Janowicz at 2013 Wimbledon.
For Federer, the questions are there.
“I’m actually very happy I made it as far as I did here, and I actually was able to play Wimbledon at the level that I did, after everything I went through. Of course, I would like to play it again, but at my age you’re just never sure what’s around the corner,” Federer said.
“I was able to make it this year, which I’m really happy about,” he added. “I’ve got to take a few days. Obviously, we’re going to speak a little bit tonight, depending on how I feel, then the next couple of days as well. Then we go from there. Just see, ‘Okay, what do I need to do to get in better shape so I can be more competitive?’”
When asked if he’d be back at Wimbledon, the 8-time champion responded, “I don’t know. I really don’t know. I got to regroup. My goal for the last year was to play another Wimbledon.”
Earlier on Centre Court, Novak Djokovic raced out to a 5-0 lead on Marton Fucsovics before the Hungarian got some momentum. But Djokovic was too strong in the end with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory. It wasn’t his best performance of the fortnight, but his 100th career grass win moved him to within two of No. 20.
“It was a solid performance and I started off really well, particularly in the first five games of the set,” said Djokovic who has won his last 19 Wimbledon matches. “One break of serve in the second and third sets was enough today and I’d like to give credit to Marton for fighting so hard.”
Djokovic is also still on track for a Calendar Slam and a Golden Slam.
“I am aware of certain stats,” said Djokovic. “And obviously I love this sport with all my heart and body and soul. I’ve been devoted to this sport since I was four. Sometimes things do look surreal for me but I try to live in the moment, don’t take anything for granted, be grateful for every opportunity I have on the court and, obviously going for history is a huge inspiration for me and, you know, let’s keep it going.”
Fucsovics was playing his first Slam quarterfinal.
“He started very well, he played well during the whole match,” said Fucsovics. “I had to find the rhythm. I had to find my serve. It was a bit windy during the match, I had to get used to it.”
On Friday, Djokovic will seek his seventh straight win over Denis Shapovalov. The Canadian earned his biggest career Slam win beating Karen Khachanov in five sets 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 to reach his first semifinal at this level.
Shapovalov, who eliminated Andy Murray on Friday, didn’t panic down 2-sets-to-1 and broke Khachanov in the fifth and served it out.
“It was definitely super tough, especially in the fifth set, having 0/40 and not converting. Then having the craziest game of my life, being able to win that was massive,” Shapovalov said. “I was in a similar position at the US Open last year in the quarter-finals, and I thought I started the fifth set a little slow, so I told myself just play every single point as hard as you can, and a bit of luck was on my side.”
Shapovalov will be a huge underdog on Friday against the World No. 1.
“He [Djokovic] is the best player in the world, but when you look at the scoreboard, the first thing on Friday, it is going to be level,” Shapovalov said. “I have full belief in me and my team, anything is possible.”
After four wins, Khachanov lost his first career 5-set match at Wimbledon.
“I think in the fourth set I should have stepped in a little more to try to defend more,” Khachanov said. “I think I gave him a chance to go for the shots. He broke me. Then the dynamics kind of changed. He stepped up. He started to be pumped again. He kind of turned around the situation to go into the fifth set.
“The difference is sometimes mental, sometimes is the game. I think he went for it more. He went first for the shots. He served much better than me especially in those moments. I think during the whole match, the only thing that I was missing today was being a little bit better serving. I feel fit. Even though I played five sets, I had one day off. I felt fresh.”
In the last quarterfinal of the day, Matteo Berrettini won his 10th straight on grass ousting good friend Felix Auger Aliassime 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3. Berrettini was backed by 12 aces and 33 winners while the 20-year-old donated 41 unforced errors.
“Before this tournament I just felt that I’m a better player now,” Berrettini said. “I have more experience. I had more matches on my shoulders. Everything that I am achieving, it’s great, but it’s not something that I didn’t expect.”
Berrettini will meet Hurkacz in his second career Grand Slam semifinal.
“Playing Hubert is going to be really tough. He beat Daniil, beat Roger in a row, and he’s feeling good. He’s having a great season so far, so it’s gonna be tough one,” the Italian said.
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