2021 didn't bring Roger Federer much joy. The former world number 1 has struggled more than expected to recover an acceptable condition, ending up playing just 13 matches since March at Wimbledon. The Swiss phenomenon, who had undergone two knee surgeries in 2020, has collected nine wins and four defeats, a balance that speaks volumes about his current difficulties.
After a clear defeat in the quarter-finals in London, the King announced that he had suffered a knee relapse and had to operate for the third time in the last 18 months. The 20-time Grand Slam champion removed his crutches a few weeks ago and will be able to start running again at the beginning of 2022.
To get his racket back, he will have to wait until spring. The 40-year-old from Basel admitted that it will be difficult to see him again on the tour before the summer of 2022, even questioning his presence at Wimbledon. Interviewed by Eurosport, seven-time Slam champion Mats Wilander expressed doubts about Roger's chances of returning to competition.
Wilander reflects on King Roger
"I think it's possible for Roger Federer to come back," Wilander told Eurosport. "I think if he keeps saying it himself, he obviously has his mind set on coming back. He doesn't get tired.
He listens to his body. But it's getting more and more difficult. I don't think that Roger Federer will play too many matches on Tour," he said. "He realizes that he does still have a chance to win - maybe not a grand slam, maybe not a final - but three or four matches.
I think it's worth it for him to come back in his own mind." The Swede added that expectations need to be tempered for the 40-year-old's return. "I'm sure Roger is curious to find out if it (comeback) can be done at the age of 41," Wilander said.
"I don't think he will know until he steps on court for at least a two or three set match against the likes of Zverev and Medvedev." Many experts and fans were of the opinion that Federer will announce his retirement right after the Wimbledon Championships 2021 since he has already entered his forties.
However, the Swiss Maestro wants to play more and his retirement plans seem to be very ambiguous right now. Fans really want Federer to hang in there for some more time. They have huge expectations from him and believe that he still has a lot of tennis left inside him. Will he be able to win yet another Grand Slam title before bidding goodbye to the sport?