Roger Federer's career is getting closer and closer to the epilogue. The hope of all tennis fans is that the King can return in 2022 at least for a final catwalk, but there are no guarantees on the Swiss's recovery process after yet another knee operation.
The former world number 1 will go under the knife for the third time in just over a year, testifying to a physicist who is presenting the bill to him after more than 20 years of a career at the highest level. The 20-time Grand Slam champion was returning to the tour last March in Doha, but it was clear from the start that his conditions were not optimal.
Federer's 2021 has gone on file with just 13 matches played (9 wins and 4 defeats), too meager booty for a legend of his caliber. The quarter-finals at Wimbledon had ignited a flame of optimism, abruptly extinguished by recent news on his form.
Speaking on ESPN just days before the US Open began, John McEnroe analyzed Roger's prospects.
John McEnroe on Roger Federer
"I just don’t want to see him out there where Roger Federer’s — I experienced it myself, I know how frustrating it is," John McEnroe said while speaking on ESPN.
"He’s way better than I ever was. You don’t want to see Roger Federer, if he’s 30 or 40 in the world." McEnroe cited the example of three-time Slam champion Andy Murray, who currently occupies the 114th spot in the ATP rankings after spending a major portion of recent seasons sidelined due to injury.
"It’s tough watching Murray at the moment," McEnroe added. "I admire his tenacity. I feel for him, wanting to play so bad, go out on his terms, seemingly how difficult that is for him. I hope he can get over the hump and be healthy.
He’s 100 in the world right now. That’s not where Andy Murray should be." McEnroe believes Federer is more fortunate than the Brit, since he has managed to play till the age of 40. "Sometimes you got to battle through some serious adversity, like he’s had to," McEnroe said.
"I hope he comes out the other side. Roger has been more fortunate. It caught up to him. But he’s 40. I mean, 40 in tennis, even now, is like 65 in another job. Either way he’s going to be able to hold his head high."
This year, despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Australian Open kept a prize pool of $51.6 million which was about 0.7% more than what it offered in 2020. On the other hand, the French Open reduced around 10% prize money this year and offered a total of $40.3 million to its players.
The Wimbledon Championships 2021 kept their prize money at $48 million- which saw a reduction of about 7.85% as compared to 2019. However, the US Open is the only Grand Slam which has made an increment of about 7.67% to its prize money.
It currently stands at $57.5 million– making it the Grand Slam offering the highest prize money to date.