Roger Federer has not been able to repeat the half miracle of 2017. Returning to the tour after more than a year of absence, the Swiss phenomenon has proven to be far from an acceptable condition. In fact, 2021 gave him many more pains than joys, despite the two knee surgeries he underwent last year.
The King has scored just 13 official matches this season, racking up nine wins and four losses. His big goals were Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics. The 40-year-old from Basel reached the quarterfinals in London, where he was literally annihilated by Hubert Hurkacz on Center Court.
A knee relapse forced him to miss the Tokyo Games, having to give up forever the dream of winning the gold medal in singles. The 20-time Grand Slam champion should return in the summer of 2022, with the hope of giving himself an epilogue worthy of his amazing career.
During the 'Champions Tennis' show, former Australian tennis player Mark Philippoussis analyzed Federer's prospects.
Philippoussis talks about Federer
"This is the first time he (Roger Federer) has struggled with injuries and had surgeries and that's a different story, especially with the knees," Philippousis said.
"But he's doing the right thing, he can't rush this." Philippousis added that watching Federer play long, grueling matches at the 2021 Roland Garros in front of empty stands showed the Swiss's passion for the game.
"Can he come back? The biggest thing for me was watching him at the French Open where there were no crowds -- he's playing five sets [two four-set matches back-to-back], he's fighting, he's pumping his fists.
That shows how much he loves the game. The passion he still has for the game is incredible," he said. Berdych 13 titles in a distinguished ATP career, and his most notable moment came when he defeated Roger Federer in the 2010 Wimbledon quarter-final and Novak Djokovic in the semi-final.
Federer and Berdych crossed paths 26 times in their careers, beginning from the Greece Olympics in 2004. Federer won 20 of those encounters while Tomas won the other 6. In an interview with Reuters, Berdych said, “He (Federer) maybe wants to come back on court and maybe make the call and whether he’s going to play his last tournament, for his huge fan base around the world, but if he doesn’t it’s fine”.
Just a few weeks ago, Roger Federer announced his unavailability for the Australian Open 2022. Federer, who suffered from a knee injury at Wimbledon 2021, is still rehabilitating from the necessary surgery.