Federer At Centre Court Celebration: 'I Hope I Can Come Back One More Time'
Roger Federer joined a parade of former Wimbledon champions on Centre Court Sunday to celebrate the centenary of the famous show court. The Swiss has not competed since his quarter-final run one year ago at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, but was thrilled to be back on the court which has provided many of the best memories of his career.
"I've been lucky enough to play a lot of matches on this court," the 40-year-old said in the on-court ceremony. "It's great to be here with all the other champions. This court has given me my biggest wins and my biggest losses."
"He has inspired a lot of us [that are here] today to just try to also be successful here and represent the sport well," Federer said of the American. "I hope I did that and I hope I can come back here one more time."
Two years later, Federer won the first of his eight Wimbledon crowns by defeating Mark Philippoussis in the 2003 final. No man has won more than his eight singles titles at SW19, and this year's event is the first he has missed at The Championships since his 1999 debut.
"Of course I missed being here [this year as a player]," he said. "I would have loved to be here. I knew walking out here last year it was going to be a tough year ahead. Maybe I didn't think it was going to take me this long to come back but the knee has been rough on me.
"But I've been happy, I've been happy at home. It's been a good year, regardless of tennis. Our kids our fine... I travelled so much for so many years."
On Sunday, the Swiss was happy to get back on the road to mark the momentous occasion.
"I didn't know if I should make the trip, but I'm happy standing right here right now," he said in front of a packed crowd and full Royal Box, with the likes of Novak Djokovic, Bjorn Borg, Billie Jean King and Rod Laver joining him on court for the celebrations.