Fans who had expected Roger Federer to return in style in 2021 were disappointed. The Swiss champion played the misery of 13 official matches last year, collecting nine wins and four defeats. The round of 16 at Roland Garros and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon were his best seasonal results, a decidedly modest tally for a legend of his caliber.
A few days after the elimination in the quarterfinals of the Championships, the former world number 1 announced that he had suffered a knee relapse and had to undergo surgery for the third time in the last 18 months. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has recently resumed training, but to see him again on the tour will have to wait until the summer.
His presence in London is in strong doubt, as Roger himself admitted some time ago. As if that weren't enough, the 40-year-old from Basel had to say goodbye to the Top 10 for the first time since 2017. Appearing in the latest edition of the 'Match Point Canada' podcast, Belinda Bencic spoke at length about her illustrious compatriot.
Bencic pays tribute to Federer
"People have written Roger Federer off so many times already but he always keeps coming back. He has proved so many times that he is one of the best three players in the world," Bencic said.
"I definitely hope he will get back healthy and play tennis tournaments again. I think the tennis world needs him to play. I definitely think he can be the best at any time." Roger Federer last played a game of competitive tennis at the 2021 Wimbledon, where he lost to 14th seed Hubert Hurkacz in the quarterfinals in straight sets.
Following the grasscourt season, the World No. 17 underwent multiple knee surgeries and has been in recovery for the last several months. One of the people to have witnessed a young Federer in Basel was former Australian tennis player and ex-coach of Simona Halep, Darren Cahill.
Cahill was good friends with Roger‘s first coach Peter Carter. When Carter was working in a sports club in Basel to train the likes of youngsters like Federer, Cahill went there to visit his friend. It was there Darren got to see the Swiss play for the first time.
Cahill mentioned in the book that Federer was trying to impress him by being as fluid as possible with his shot-making. In Darren’s words, “I was impressed for sure, but I wasn’t that impressed with Roger’s backhand.
Because he took a big step. We teach as coaches basically little steps, get yourself in a position so you can get that ball right into the sweet spot where you can hit it”.