Roger Federer’s dream of winning a record-equalling ninth Wimbledon title ended with a heart-breaking 6-3 7-6(4) 6-0 quarter-final defeat by Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz on Wednesday.
Before this fortnight, 14th seed Hurkacz had won only four matches on turf but no one would have guessed his lack of grasscourt pedigree after witnessing the stupendous display he put in against his own childhood idol.
All the cheers and standing ovations in the world could not save Federer from the Centre Court mauling as it seemed his 39-year-old body finally said enough is enough.
A Federer forehand into the tramlines handed Hurkacz the biggest win of his career while fans were left wondering that should this turn out to be the Swiss’s final Wimbledon appearance, there could not have been a more cruel way to bow out than losing 6-0 in the final set of his 22nd appearance.
Federer, the winner of 20 Grand Slam titles, had been chasing Martina Navratilova’s All England Club haul of nine singles titles.