Roger Federer's 2021 was really quite special. After thirteen months of absence from the fields due to the pandemic and the now known physical problems related to the double knee surgery, the Swiss champion returned to the field playing only a few tournaments.
He has participated in Roland Garros and Wimbledon as Grand Slam tournaments and although his condition has never been totally good Federer has never really looked 100%. On the ground in Paris he retired before playing the eighth final against Matteo Berrettini while at Wimbledon he surrendered in the quarter-finals against the Polish Hubert Hurkacz.
Right on the grass (for him at home) Federer noticed new physical problems that forced him to a new long stop and to skip the season finale. Speaking to the microphones of GQ, the Swiss champion dealt with many topics, both about his career and about the development that the tennis world is having.
Starting from the defeat against Hurkacz, Roger Federer spoke like this: "The ovation I got after the defeat at Wimbledon was special for me because I felt the love and support of the people. Obviously it is always difficult to leave the field after a defeat at Wimbledon, when you are in the final there is the awards ceremony while here I had to get back quickly with my things off the pitch.
I got out right away because Hubert deserved a big standing ovation. The last year and a half has been very difficult but I'm happy with how that day went and how the tournament went. I would have liked to be in better shape but in the end I couldn't do better."
Davydenko comments on Federer
A contemporary of Roger Federer, Nikolay Davydenko retired from professional tennis in 2014. During the interview the Russian lauded Federer for his longevity, but expressed skepticism about his chances of making a comeback at 40 years of age.
"Roger Federer has already done everything, reached such heights," Davydenko said. "He is trying to prove to himself or to someone that he can still win something at the age of 40. But I don’t know what kind of medicines - and medicines are needed for the body to support it and at 40 to be like at 20.
The difference is big, the body is exhausted, he played so much, moved so much," the Russian said. "To do this at 40, you cannot win purely by tennis alone." Davydenko further recalled his meeting with Federer a couple of years ago, where he asked the Swiss maestro about his back.
"A couple of years ago I met with him in Shanghai," Davydenko said. "I asked: 'What is holding your back?' He says: 'Thank God, physics still withstands. The body is trying, if not for the fitness trainer, I would have broken down long ago.' "