Roger Federer gets standing ovation on first visit to Wimbledon since retiring
Roger Federer receives a standing ovation from the Center Court crowd as eight-time Wimbledon champion – sat next to the Princess of Wales – returns to SW19 for the first time since retirement
It was a moment not to be missed to celebrate the best player to ever grace Center Court’s hallowed turf and the arrival of Roger Federer sparked the sort of visceral roar of appreciation rarely seen before finals weekend – but the lazy BBC coverage missed every second.
It was a week of blunders for the Beeb after they also missed the first two games of British No. 1 Katie Boulter’s match and got top seed Carlos Alcaraz’s age wrong.
While Boulter, cover star of Tatler and many newspapers, went to court, the BBC showed a pre-recorded interview with her instead.
Fans have also criticized the lack of real tennis experts in their regular coverage, with cricket presenter Isa Guha also mistaken the age of 23-time Grand Slam winner and favorite Novak Djokovic on Monday.
As Federer entered the royal box, the BBC instead showed a news bulletin on BBC One and Alcaraz’s match on BBC Two.
Roger Federer (right) waved to the crowd as he received a standing ovation from Center Court
Princess of Wales (left) sat next to the Swiss tennis legend in the Royal Box on Tuesday
Federer shared a kiss with his wife Mirka on what was his first return to SW19 since he retired
However, no one lucky enough to have tickets to Center Court missed the ceremony for the eighth time Wimbledon winner Federer and wife Mirka joined the Princess of Wales in a royal box also populated by former Prime Minister David Cameron and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
The 41-year-old, who retired last year, came from Zurich after taking the stage at a Coldplay performance on Sunday and then joined a starry night at SW19 receiving a three-minute round of applause from star-struck spectators.
The All England Club celebrated its unrivaled eight men’s singles titles here with a special video montage of its best moments from 2013 to 2021, with input from former opponents.
Dressed in a soft cream suit and sunglasses, Federer watched intently as defending champion Elena Rybakina opened the day’s match – though Kate Middleton and his wife held him back for most of a rocky three-set start to a title defense for the Kazakhstan player .
It comes a year after Federer received the loudest cheer from a field of more than 20 previous winners who stood on the hallowed green grass to celebrate 100 years of Center Court.
The All England Club plans to hold a similar ceremony for Serena Williams when she can travel to London.
The seven-time singles champion, who like Federer retired last year, is currently pregnant.
Federer’s parents Robert and Lynette were also on hand to welcome their son
Federer looked very smart in his beige suit as he donned sunglasses despite the drizzle
Federer (pictured in 2006) is an eight-time Wimbledon winner and one of the greatest of all time