Roger Federer is to carry on playing tennis.
The eight-time Wimbledon champion, 40, is missing this year’s Championships for the first time in 23 years because of long-term knee problems.
It provoked retirement talk around a player rated the greatest of all time along with Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
But the Swiss, who has won 20 Grand Slams, is not hanging up his racket.
Federer has declared his hope that he will return to the tournament “one more time”.
He was talking at a ceremony to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Centre Court among other champions including John McEnroe, John Newcombe, Ann Jones, Angela Mortimer, Venus Williams, Stefan Edberg, Billi Jean King, Rod Laver and, of course, Andy Murray who became the first home winner of the men’s singles title in 77 years in 2013.
Federer said: “I’ve been lucky enough to play a lot of matches on this court. It feels awkward to be here today in a different type of role.
“It’s great to be here with all the other champions. This court has given me my biggest wins and my biggest losses.
“I hope I can come back one more time.
“I’ve missed it here. I knew walking out here last year, it was going to be a tough year ahead. I maybe didn’t think it was going to take this long to come back – the knee has been rough on me.
“It’s been a good year regardless of tennis. We’re happy at home. I didn’t know if I should make the trip but I’m happy standing here right now.”
Martina Navratilova, a nine-time ladies champion, was unable to attend after being tested for Covid 19.