The 2021 season certified Roger Federer's difficulties in the latter part of his career. The former world number 1, who returned to Doha last March, played the misery of 13 official matches this year. The balance was not exciting (nine wins and four defeats), combined with the feeling that the Swiss will never be able to lift a Grand Slam trophy again.
The 40-year-old from Basel reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon thanks also to a not impossible scoreboard, but he clearly surrendered to the Polish Hubert Hurkacz on Center Court. A few weeks later, news broke of a new knee relapse, which forced the King to undergo surgery for the third time in the last 18 months.
Recently, the 20-time Grand Slam champion revealed that he would be surprised to participate in Wimbledon in 2022. The rehabilitation process is expected to be very long and the Swiss is expected to return to action only in the summer.
During a conversation on the Tennis Channel, Jim Courier analyzed the Maestro's chances of giving himself one last gem.
Jim Courier on Roger Federer
"Roger Federer, I think is very realistic about his chances," Courier said.
"He's talked about maybe not even playing until 2023, so we'll see. We'll have our fingers crossed for him and hope that we get to see him very competitively in the next season." Jim Courier recently gave his views on the Slam race among the Big 3, opining that both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic would likely add to their tallies next year.
"For Rafa, how is he going to respond?" Courier continued. "How is his foot going to respond after sitting out a lot of this season trying to fix that after it went out on him at Roland Garros? He's still the favorite at Roland Garros - slightly, slightly, slightly over Novak in my opinion - assuming they're both healthy." The American thinks, however, that Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev are close to the Serb's level on hardcourts given their strong finishes to the season on the surface.
"Novak is probably the favorite everywhere else," Courier added. "Certainly at Wimbledon, but on the hardcourts I think it's narrowed dramatically here with the way this season ended - the way that Zverev has stepped up and Medvedev has stepped up.
So I can easily see Rafa and Novak adding one each, maybe two if Novak goes to Australia. But these young guys are hungry and they've narrowed the gap on them."