Roger Federer put in a number of strong performances in his quarter-final run at Wimbledon, but his emphatic dismantling in the second week of the tournament has John McEnroe doubting another title charge for a record 21 Grand Slams.
The 39-year-old withdrew from the French Open in a bid to make a deep run into the second week of Wimbledon after a long lay-off due to a knee injury in 2020.
But after a few solid wins the 20-time Grand Slam title winner was dismantled 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-0 at the hands of Hubert Hurkacz.
The match marked the first time ever that Federer suffered a bagel at the All England Club.
While Federer hasn’t signalled whether or not it was his last Wimbledon, despite hinting he wanted to play on, his withdrawal from the Olympics raised further doubts.
Federer will be 40 years old by the time the US Open rolls around later this year.
And tennis legend McEnroe does not think Federer has enough in the tank anymore to win a Grand Slam after falling short on his favourite surface.
“As far as the Grand Slam is concerned, I have quite clear ideas about how things will end,” McEnroe said.
“I believe that Roger Federer will never win a Grand Slam title again, he will certainly remain at 20, Rafael Nadal will win a maximum of one.”
The 39-year-old, who has never won an Olympic singles gold medal, underwent two surgeries on his right knee in 2020 and put it down to his withdrawal from the Tokyo Games.
“During the grass court season, I unfortunately experienced a setback with my knee, and have accepted that I must withdraw from the Tokyo Olympic Games,” Federer said in a statement on social media.
McEnroe predicts Novak Djokovic for title race
The common perception is Djokovic, who has now won three of the four Grand Slams this year and is chasing a Golden Slam, will end up on the most titles.
McEnroe can’t see much stopping the World No.1 from achieving this feat.
“While Djokovic can last on the circuit for another three or four years and I think he can win up to another five Grand Slams,” he added.
“This is my prediction even though it will all depend on the health of each player. If nothing sensational happens, I think Novak Djokovic will be the player with the most Grand Slam titles in history.”
Djokovic could become the first man ever to win the Golden Slam (all four Grand Slams and the Olympic Gold in one year) with his path made easier considering a number of top seeds have dropped out of Tokyo.
Queen ‘disappointed’ with Meghan Markle, Harry over christening move
Queen Elizabeth is reportedly ‘disappointed’ over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s move to christen Lilibet within the US and a former butler believes she’ll be heartbroken to miss such a special event.
Some former staffers even fear she’ll be utterly heartbroken if she is not able to participate in the grand event.
The Firm’s former royal butler Grant Harrold made this claim during his interview with Express.
There he speculated upon the possible plan of action Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may take regarding the christening, for the Queen, and claimed, “I am sure if this does not take place in the UK, the Queen will be disappointed to not attend the christening of her great-granddaughter.”
He also went on to add, “However, as with many families who have family overseas, sometimes it is not possible.”
“Maybe their christening will be recorded so the family in the UK can watch as well? Family is very important to the Queen and I am sure before too long she will meet her great-granddaughter.”
31 photos that prove Prince William and Kate Middleton are trying to change their public image
As the future king and queen consort of England, the Cambridges will always have a different set of rules and expectations than Harry and Markle ever did as senior royals. But Eric Schiffer, an expert on celebrity brand management, told Insider that when it came to the couple’s public-relations strategy, Middleton and William took “little risk” before Markle and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.
“They were manicured to the nth degree,” he said, “and played their public persona with a Buckingham Palace excellence, out of the playbook that’s been mastered for centuries.”
Before the pandemic, William and Middleton almost never posted videos on their official Instagram page. If they did, it was usually a slideshow of photos or a clip played over one of the prince’s formal speeches.
The Cambridges also rarely showed affection toward each other in public, believed to be in line with royal etiquette.
But Markle and Harry’s explosive interview with Oprah hurt the royal family’s reputation.
Harry Meghan interview 2
Harry and Markle during their interview with Oprah. CBS
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex dropped several bombshells during the two-hour interview. Markle said Middleton had made her cry over a flower-girl dress (not the other way around, as some publications had reported), while Harry said he and William were “on different paths.”
Markle and Harry also said that they received no support from the royal family when Markle began experiencing suicidal thoughts and that some royals had “concerns” about their son’s skin color.
Schiffer told Insider that the interview released a “giant smoke bomb” that affected the royal family’s reputation while boosting Markle and Harry’s global image, helping them connect “with people’s humanity and their own struggles.”
“It created this contrast, and Harry and Meghan’s PR strategy, in essence, is to be the unanointed modern-day royals of the populace,” he said. “This is a populist strategy.”
Days after the Oprah interview, William and Middleton shared personal family photos on their official Instagram page.
Kate Middleton Prince William Mother's Day Cake
A cake that Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis made for Mother’s Day in the UK. DukeandDuchessofCambridge/Instagram
On March 14, Mother’s Day in the UK, the couple posted pictures of cards and a cake they said their children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — had made to remember Princess Diana.
“For those experiencing bereavement, today may be particularly challenging,” one of the captions said. “Each year on Mother’s Day, George, Charlotte and Louis make cards remembering their Granny, Diana, for William.”
That week, Middleton visited children at a school in London that had reopened after the UK eased lockdown restrictions.
Middleton interacts with a child during a visit to School21 on March 11. JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images
Clare McHugh, a royal historian, told Insider that Middleton and William’s swift new PR strategy was one that the royal family has used since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert took the throne in the 1840s.
“That was a revolutionary moment in Europe when all sorts of monarchies were being overturned,” McHugh said. “They had to find a way to make the monarchy seem more appealing so that it would stick around.
“So they fought back by showing, oh, no, the monarchy is just like you,” she added. “They showcased their children much more than any monarch had done before.”
Weeks before their 10th anniversary, the Cambridges returned to Westminster Abbey, which had been turned into a coronavirus vaccination center.
Middleton appeared to pay tribute to the church’s history by sporting a white knee-length coat. The couple also walked down the same aisle that they walked down on their wedding day.
On April 27, Middleton and William played with children and animals at a farm in Durham, England.
‘Been warned’ Meghan and Harry keeping away from UK after PR disaster, says Lady C
MEGHAN MARKLE and Prince Harry have been “warned off” returning to England after “a lot of bad publicity” following their interview with Oprah Winfrey back in March, claims Lady Colin Campbell.
Meghan Markle, 40, has not been back to the UK since moving permanently to the United States last year with her husband Prince Harry, 37, and their young son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, two. Since their transatlantic relocation, the couple have given a number of interviews to the media, including a tell-all sit down with Oprah Winfrey at the beginning of the year, which left critics divided over their comments on the Royal Family.
The Sussexes had claimed they felt racial prejudice from an unnamed member of the Royal Family after the birth of their son Archie.
They alleged the senior royal questioned “how dark” Archie would be in tandem with talks over whether the baby should receive a prince title.
Since then Prince Harry has flown back to the UK just twice, once to attend the funeral of his grandfather Prince Philip and also to attend the unveiling of a statue in his late mother, Princess Diana’s honour.
On both occasions, the duke has been unaccompanied by his wife, Archie, or newborn daughter Lilibet.
Many have questioned if the Sussexes will ever visit the UK as a family ever again, and now Lady Colin Campbell has claimed the “bad publicity” from some sections of media is preventing their return.
In her latest YouTube video, Lady Colin said: “They know they are going to be subjected to a lot of bad publicity, and they have been warned.
“I am reliably informed that the bad publicity they are getting is affecting their brand. So really they have been warned off coming to England.”
Her comments come as Prince Harry confirmed he would not be attending an event to celebrate his mother’s statue unveiling.