Bouncing back from a nasty knee injury that required two surgeries last year, Roger Federer played 13 matches this season before wrapping up the year due to constant knee issues. The Swiss reached the Wimbledon quarter-final a couple of weeks before turning 40, and he could not play injury-free and finish the season in a way he intended.
Federer's second tournament in 2021 came in Geneva in May, standing as the top seed and facing Pablo Andujar in the second round. Despite a great effort and a 4-2 advantage in the decider, Federer lost four straight games to finish on the losing side and propel the opponent into the next round.
Knowing how tough it is to deal with injuries very well, Andujar praised Federer ahead of their clash and spoke about his elegance and talent that should be a part of every tennis school and academy.
Pablo Andujar praised Roger Federer ahead of their clash in Geneva in May.
"I'm really excited.
I always wanted to face Roger and tell my kids and grandkids about it when I get older. I played Rafa and Novak, and I had to close that circle; I knew I would not have many opportunities because years go on. I'm really excited to play Roger, especially in Switzerland.
Roger's elegance is something unique, and that is in all the tennis schools; we see him with the technique and everything. I would say that the most important is that Roger, Rafa and Novak grew the sport, and now they are above the sport.
I feel sympathy for all of the players struggling with long-term injuries, and of course, Roger is one of them. I know how difficult it is because sometimes you try to come back, and then it hurts. At least it did for me, and you have many doubts; it's challenging for your mentality.
But I think with the level he's got and how he plays, if he is 100% fit, he will be good old Roger Federer again. In that sense, it will probably not be as hard as it was for me to come back to my level. When you come back after a long time without playing, you do not feel the same as when you have played many matches in the past weeks.
We are talking about Roger Federer and not Pablo Andujar, which is probably a big difference. He's so talented; even if he has not played so many matches, I think he can reach the previous level from a couple of years ago," Pablo Andujar said.