ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi says every match Roger Federer from now on will be a "gift" for the ATP Tour. Federer, 40, underwent two knee surgeries in 2020. Despite being 39 at the time, Federer made his comeback in 2021 March.
Federer appeared in just five tournaments before he decided to undergo a third knee surgery. Federer made the Wimbledon quarterfinal in July and the following month went under the knife. Federer refused to retire after undergoing a third knee surgery as he has left the door open for a potential comeback in 2022.
“Roger is over 40 years old. Every match he plays from now on will be a gift for us," Gaudenzi told Eurosport, as quoted on Sportskeeda.
The ATP hopes Federer returns
Federer is certain to miss the entire first half of the season.
If Federer returns, that could happen in the second part of the season -- maybe during the American hard court swing. “We're obviously looking forward to him being back on the tour, but he's taking his time after the surgeries he's had," Gaudenzi added.
"We're keeping our fingers crossed." Recently, Federer gave credit to those around him for helping him have such a long career. "My wife couldn't have been more supportive; my coaches, I had them all at the right time. I've always been very motivated, that's why I was always able to do what I did," Federer said in his interview with Credit Suisse.
"I don't wanna say I've struggled with the decision to retire, but it's a whole other situation to think of. You know, my career is ending and then my wife is like, 'Okay, my foot's still good, I just don't enjoy it anymore, I'll come on the road with you.'
" Federer is now tied with Novak Djokovic at the second place of the all-time Grand Slam record list with 20 Majors. After winning the Australian Open, Nadal made it past Federer and Djokovic on the all-time Grand Slam record list.