2016 Wimbledon sensation Marcus Willis revealed he “felt like crying” when Roger Federer announced his retirement last September. In 2016, Willis famously made it past the pre-qualifying and then qualifying event to reach the Wimbledon main draw for the first time in his career.
After beating Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev in the 2016 Wimbledon qualifying, Willis also defeated Ricardas Berankis in the Wimbledon first round to stage a second-round meeting on the Centre Court against Federer. Willis suffered a straight-set defeat to Federer but his story was already a stunning one.
“The news came out and honestly I felt like crying,” Willis told the ATP Tour website.
Willis on how he fell into a dark spot after Wimbledon and the Federer match
Willis found himself in a dark place shortly after 2016 Wimbledon as he was wondering if he would ever enjoy anything that good.
“Post Wimbledon I remember I played a few more tournaments that year and I got injured. I think 2018 was my last singles match, but I sort of got myself into quite a negative mindset. I kind of told myself that nothing would ever be that good again, so what’s the point? I struggled.
I struggled with the comedown after Wimbledon. It was difficult. I put on a load of weight, I was struggling. I had to go and get some help. I had to go speak to a professional. It’s something I continue to do. It’s something I stay on top of because I don’t want to venture back to where I was,” Willis recalled.
In early 2021, Willis announced his retirement from pro tennis. Last summer, Willis returned to pro tennis but this time as a doubles player. Since returning, Willis and his doubles partner Scott Duncan have won five ITF titles.
Willis is now ranked at No 316 on the ATP rankings doubles list. Considering Willis’ story, Wimbledon will very likely give him and Duncan a doubles main draw wildcard, in case they need one.