There were a lot of shadows and few lights in Roger Federer's 2021. The former world number 1 has played a pittance of 13 competitive matches this season, racking up nine wins and four losses. A decidedly modest booty for a legend of his caliber, returning after more than a year of hiatus.
The round of 16 at Roland Garros and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon were his best results in 2021, while the dream of taking part in his last Olympics has vanished. A few weeks after his elimination in the quarter-finals in London, the 40-year-old from Basel announced that he was undergoing knee surgery for the third time in the last 18 months.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has just returned to training in the gym and his return to the tour should take place in the summer of 2022. His presence at the Championships is in strong doubt, as Roger himself admitted a few weeks ago.
The King had to say goodbye to the Top 10 for the first time since 2017, testifying to how near the end of an era is. In a long exclusive interview with 'Eurosport Germany', ATP number 3 Alexander Zverev also commented on Federer's situation.
Zverev comments on Roger Federer
"Roger Federer has shown he can do impossible things even when no one believed it was possible anymore, so I wouldn't rule him out. But it won't be easy, tennis has changed and it's become even faster.
At some point it won't be easier" - Alexander Zverev stated. In the podcast, the German opened up about his learnings from the 2021 season. "I have become much calmer. I am also getting older. I am not 18 or 19 years old anymore," Zverev said.
"I understand maybe a little more about life and I understand that you simply have to remain calm in important situations. This has had its effect on me this year. I know I'm not far from that, but for that I also have to win tournaments and Grand Slams," Zverev said.
"The situation with Novak and Australia remains a big question mark. Of course I hope he is allowed to play, that is very clear. There are thousands of mathematical calculations, if he does not play in Australia and I win the Australian Open, then I am number one in the world," Zverev said.
"At the end of the day, now is not the time thinking about it, now is the time to prepare as best you can to be able to be physically well." The Australian government’s guidelines regarding vaccination for the Australian Open are extremely strict and they’re making room for no exemptions.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has had a contentious relationship with the topic and has, on various occasions, made his feelings known about the subject.