Roger Federer already knew, from the matches he has played since returning after 16 months and two knee surgeries, that his comeback was going to be more challenging than he hoped.
But it appeared that the three-set loss to Félix Auger-Aliassime in the second round in Halle – notably, his struggles in the third set – was a moment of reckoning.
Federer took nearly 2 1/2 hours to process before coming into press after the defeat. And where he normally answers questions in three languages (often the same questions), he kept it to English.
Here’s what he said.
(Video courtesy of the Noventi Open – used with permission)