Roger Federer turned 38 in August 2019 and was still among the world's leading players that year. The Swiss claimed four ATP titles, including the 28th Masters 1000 crown in Miami, and missed a chance to secure the 21st Major crown at Wimbledon after wasting two match points against Novak Djokovic.
Starting the 2020 season as world no. 3, Roger reached the Australian Open semi-final before experiencing a massive setback due to a knee injury. The Swiss underwent two surgeries in February and May, finishing the season with only six matches played and hoping to get back at 100% in 2021.
After 13 months away from the court, Roger made a long-awaited return in Doha, entering five tournaments until July and reaching the Wimbledon quarter-final. Hubert Hurkacz proved too strong for the veteran, beating him in straight sets and delivering Roger's first bagel since the 2008 Roland Garros final!
Defeat aside, Federer still felt the pain in his knee. He underwent a third surgery within 18 months a couple of weeks later, finishing the season and starting another extended recovery process. The Swiss should begin with light preparations in January and step on the practice court in March or April, hoping for steady improvements and first official matches at some point after Wimbledon.
Roger Federer hopes to play again in the second half of 2022.
"The doctors say that I will jog lightly in January and gradually return to the court in gentle steps. They do not know this, but I have already played a bit of tennis with the kids.
If everything goes right, I can start training again in a tennis-like way in March or April. I had this operation done to ski with my children and play football and tennis in the future. My primary motivation was to get back in shape for my everyday life, although I wanted to approach this rehabilitation with the mentality and body of a top athlete.
As far as my sporting ambitions are concerned, I want to see what I can achieve as a tennis pro once again. I'm fighting for it, and I'm very motivated. I feel the support of my team and family. We all wish that I could say goodbye on my own terms and on the court," Roger Federer said.