Some days, it’s hard to believe that Roger Federer’s 40 years old. However, for one day, time stops for one finite moment to present this reality before tennisdom. 8th August 2021 is this day. The presentation of this reality’s not to add worry about the future – immediate as well as long-term – of Federer’s continuity in pro tennis but rather to keep these at bay and celebrate the Swiss’ career.
With regard to the latter, undeniably, Federer’s seen quite a few ups and downs this year. He’s had successes that were succeeded by losses that were unexpected, which made it harder to bear given the road he’s had to take to get here, following double knee surgery in 2020.
Whether the year lived up to Federer’s expectations from it and from himself, one’ll never know. But that he gave it his all to give his best on the court is something that was never in doubt despite the tough times he’s endured in 2021.
And no matter how repetitive it gets, this aspect has been the edifice holding Federer’s career aloft, while emphasising his longevity on the tour. And that’s why it becomes important to think over this on 8th August, of all days.
Especially, on 8th August 2021. This is so because this year has helped to bring out the uniqueness that’s Federer in ways that no other year’s brought out.
Roger Federer: Creating milestones anew
Quite often, Federer’s career’s used as a synonym for success.
There’s a tendency to discount his lows as momentary passing and put his losses solely in the context of his triumphs. This is true even in the case of the 20-time champion’s 2017 season. Federer’s wins in 2017 became a case study in how he made a winning return after taking the latter six months off in 2016, following an arthroscopic procedure to his left knee.
In comparison, the first six months of the 2016 season aren’t thought about much except to talk about the Australian Open and the injury that came about right on the heels of his exit in the semi-final. In many ways, had Federer’s 2021 season had turned out like 2017, the same trend would’ve been repeated, four years on.
Such a one-sided perspective does quite a disservice to Federer. And this is so because Federer wouldn’t be who he is without these losses to give shape to his growth and sustenance as a legend of the sport. After 20-plus years on the professional circuit, Roger Federer’s career has become a crisscross of graphs and maps that describe his longevity and consistency.
The numerous setbacks he’s endured are the divots that’ve helped him reset his course and add to his legacy. On his 40th birthday, here’s to wishing that Federer’ll reset his course once more, perhaps even more singularly than in all this time.