Roger Federer says he wants to play at Wimbledon "one more time" as he returned to SW19 for Centre Court's centenary celebrations.
Federer - 41 in August - last played competitively at Wimbledon twelve months ago, losing to Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals.
Since then the legendary Swiss has embarked on an arduous, complicated period of recuperation on his troublesome knee.
ATP Montreal
'I have to follow the rules' - Why Medvedev thinks missing Wimbledon may help for US Open
3 HOURS AGO
But in a conversation on Centre Court during a walk-on for past champions, Federer said he is still aiming to return.
He said: "I’ve been lucky enough to play a lot of matches here.
"It feels awkward to be here in a different type of role.
"This court has given me my biggest wins and my biggest losses.
"I hope I can come back one more time. I miss being here.
“I didn’t think it would take this long to come back; this year has been rough on me.
"I didn’t know if I should make the trip, but I’m happy to be standing here today.
"2001 [stands out] against Sampras [Federer beat the American legend to end his title defence]; and then in 2003, against Mark Philippoussis [to win his first title].
"You [Sue Barker, who was speaking Federer] remember what that meant to me [the Swiss cried during his winner's speech]."
It remains to be seen if "one more time" was a coded message that Federer sees 2023 as his swansong from the game.
Also on Centre Court for the event was Novak Djokovic, on the same day he plays his fourth-round match on the same court against Dutch wildcard Tim van Rijthoven.
Djokovic said it was "an honour to be on the same court with legends of our sport", and that Sampras had also proved an inspiration for his career.
- - -
Watch daily highlights from Wimbledon at 10pm on Eurosport 2 and discovery+ from June 27, as well as the two singles finals live on July 9 and 10.
ATP Washington
Berserker to bonafide contender: Is this the summer of Kyrgios?
4 HOURS AGO
Tennis
Federer at 41: What's next? Will he play the US Open?
15 HOURS AGO