Roger Federer may well have played his last match at Wimbledon after being dismantled at the quarter-final stage, according to Boris Becker.

Federer, seeking a ninth title at the grass-court grand slam, was comprehensively beaten in straight sets by the relatively unfancied 14th seed Hubert Hurkacz on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old was beaten 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-0 on Centre Court, missing out on becoming the oldest male to reach the semi-finals of the championship in the Open Era.

Three-time champion Becker thought the manner of Federer's defeat, in which he hit 31 unforced errors and suffered the ignominy of losing a set to love for the first time in his Wimbledon career, could leave him questioning whether this was his last visit.

"I don't know if we'll ever see the great man again here," he said to the BBC.

"It's normal for anybody to make mistakes, but if you're such a perfectionist as Roger Federer, some of these mistakes were way out of his league.

"It can happen in a game or a set even, but in his case it was pretty much the whole match.

"As they always say, time doesn't stand still for any man or woman."

 

Federer came into this year's tournament having played just eight matches in 2021 following a lengthy recovery from knee surgery.

The 20-time major winner battled through the first round when Adrian Mannarino retired in the fifth set but looked to have regained some sharpness in victories over Richard Gasquet, Cameron Norrie and Lorenzo Sonego.

After losing the opening set against Hurkacz, Federer let a 4-1 lead slip in the second before succumbing in the tie-break, after which he never regained a foothold in the contest.

"Maybe in the first round he was trying to find his feet, he was lucky to get through, but in the following matches, he played better and better. Did he have a perfect match? No, but he had moments of perfection," said Becker.

"On paper, he was the favourite today. For him to go out and lose potentially his last ever set six-love... oh, God.

"I hope [he comes back in 2022], I don't want to see Roger losing his last set here. But there are certain rules in professional tennis that even Roger Federer has to obey: it's matches. You don't get your match fitness in practice, you're not going to get it in rehab. You don't know how strong your knee, your thigh or your mind is unless you're put in a position [to win]. He wasn't good enough today."

Becker drew parallels between Federer's defeat and his own 1995 final loss to Pete Sampras – a match that convinced him his time on tour had come to an end.

However, the former world number one advised Federer to play the remainder of the year and see if he can start 2022 on a positive note.

"My moment came when I lost to Pete Sampras in the Wimbledon final of 1995. I thought I was playing good, and I lost in straight sets against the better player," he said.

"I always felt that, when I'm not able to win Wimbledon anymore, why bother coming? Roger won it eight times; he's not coming here to play a tough quarter-final. He's coming here to win.

"He has to take a bit of a rest, play the hard-court season, go to the US Open and play the rest of the year. Go to Australia – he won there a couple of times – and hopefully win another tournament or two. Only then [will] he realise if he's good enough still to compete at the highest level."

Boris Becker fears Naomi Osaka's career could be "in danger" after she withdrew from the French Open to prioritise improving her mental health.

Osaka had hit the headlines by revealing she would not face the media at Roland Garros because "people have no regard for athletes' mental health" during news conferences.

The four-time grand slam champion was fined for not fulfilling her media duties after beating Maria Tig and warned she could face more severe sanctions.

Osaka on Monday revealed she had pulled out of the second major of the year to take time away from the court, having struggled with "long bouts of depression" since winning the US Open in 2018.

The 23-year-old also spoke of her struggles with social anxiety and Becker is concerned for her tennis future.

Becker, a winner of six grand slam titles in his illustrious career, told Eurosport: "I heard her first response a couple of days ago about this media boycott and that is something to be always taken seriously, especially from such a young woman.

"She couldn't cope with the pressures of facing the media after she loses a match, but that happens frequently and you have to deal with it.

"I always believed the media was part of the job. Without the media, there is no prize money, no contracts, you don't get half the cake. I hated the media and I didn't like talking to journalists, but you had to do it.

"Now she is pulling out of the tournament altogether because she can't cope with it and that raises much bigger questions for me.

"If she can't cope with the media in Paris, she can't cope with the media in Wimbledon or the US Open. So I almost feel like her career is in danger due to mental health issues."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.