"Now we'll see how much more I've got left in the tank," Roger Federer said after his win on Monday

By Benjamin VanHoose
July 06, 2021 09:36 AM
Advertisement
Roger Federer
Roger Federer
| Credit: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty

Roger Federer continues to be at the top of his game.

After beating Lorenzo Sonego (7-5, 6-4, 6-2) on Monday, the tennis star of Switzerland became the oldest male athlete to make it to the Wimbledon quarterfinals in the modern Open era at age 39 (he turns 40 on Aug. 8).

According to ESPN, Federer surpasses the previous record-holder from 1974, Ken Rosewall, who was 39 years, 224 days old at the time, while Federer will be 39 years, 337 days old on the final day of the tournament.

The victory Monday comes about a month after Federer withdrew from the 2021 French Open, writing in a statement at the time, "After two knee surgeries and over a year of rehabilitation it's important that I listen to my body and make sure I don't push myself too quickly on my road to recovery."

After his win Monday, Federer explained that it was "very rewarding" to get back onto the court after recovering from injuries.

"When you're young, you don't ask yourself the question. But when you're me, with the year I had, it's all question marks all over the place. You have to prove it again to yourself that you can actually do it," he said, according to ATP Tour.

Roger Federer
Roger Federer
| Credit: Han Yan/Xinhua via Getty
Roger Federer
Credit: John Walton/PA Images via Getty

Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday.

"I was willing to take losses for the sake of information, just to be out there, [to] get the body in shape for hopefully when Wimbledon comes around that I can actually wake up in the morning and feel all right, that I can still go out and play five sets. I feel that way, so it's very rewarding and it's a good feeling," added Federer.

"Now we'll see how much more I've got left in the tank," he said. "Clearly [it] was important again to win in straight sets. [I am] looking forward to the next round."

RELATED VIDEO: Kate Middleton Is Back Courtside — and Looking Chic — at Her Favorite Tennis Tournament Wimbledon

Federer pulled out of last year's French Open too, after he had arthroscopic surgery on his knee. He later withdrew from the rest of the season that June.

"My right knee has been bothering me for a little while. I hoped it would go away, but after an examination, and discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery in Switzerland yesterday," he wrote at the time. "After the procedure, the doctors confirmed that it was the right thing to have done and are very confident of a full recovery."

The first round of the 2021 Wimbledon tournament kicked off June 28, marking the return of the annual event after last year's tournament was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, Federer has won Wimbledon eight times in men's singles.

Serena Williams withdrew from her first-round match at Wimbledon last Tuesday after suffering an apparent leg injury.