Roger Federer is back. Once again. The Swiss, stopped for more than a year and just back from a double knee surgery, is ready to give his fans and all tennis fans other delights, other sporting and at the same time poetic gestures, other incredible plays.
With 20 Grand Slams on the showcase, now on the threshold of forty years, Roger Federer could say enough is enough. But he doesn't, because he is still having fun, he has the same hunger for wins as always and remains among the best on the circuit.
And then he is ready for his return to the field, in Doha, the theater chosen for the umpteenth rerun of a show that is always different in its actions, but always the same in its emotions. When asked if he had any concerns about his level of play, Federer replied in the negative.
But the 39-year-old did admit that he wasn't fully relaxed about his knee, and that he would constantly monitor his condition over the next few months. Roger Federer then turned his attention to Rafael Nadal, speaking at length about the closeness of their relationship.
Roger Federer comments on Rafael Nadal
"I saw Rafael Nadal grow, right in front of my eyes," Roger Federer said. "He’s one of the guys from tennis - players - that I could call up and, if I told him something, it would be a secret between the two of us.
And I appreciate that we were able to build a relationship like that." When asked for his two cents on the ‘GOAT’ debate, Federer spoke in glowing terms about Nadal’s and Djokovic’s recent feats on the tour.
The Swiss believes that the duo are motivated by his own achievements, just like he was by Pete Sampras’. "I think it's a great debate to have," Federer said. "What Novak and Rafa have done lately is extraordinary, they're not 25 either, but they seem at the peak.
For them I am maybe the measuring stick, like Pete (Sampras) was for me." Roger added that even though Wimbledon had to be called off on account of the “severe” pandemic, he was never in doubt on whether he wanted to return or not.
“That was my goal…I just wanted to get well again,” the six-time Australian Open champion said. Sharing new details of the progress he has made on the fitness front, the 39-year-old said he feels no pain when he wakes up in the morning.
He added, however, that feeling good about himself physically isn’t necessarily a conveyor of confidence ahead of matches.