Roger Federer has had to leave the circuit in the past two years due to a serious right knee injury. Suffice it to say that the Swiss champion played the misery of 13 official matches in 2021, collecting nine wins and four losses.
The round of 16 at Roland Garros and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon were his best results of the season, a very modest tally for a legend of his caliber. A few weeks after the Championships, the former world number 1 announced that he had suffered a knee relapse and had to operate for the third time in 18 months.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion hopes to return to the pitch in late summer or early autumn, perhaps for the Laver Cup (which will take place at London's O2 Arena in late September). The 40-year-old from Basel took over Rafael Nadal in the all-time rankings of the Majors, while Novak Djokovic snatched the record for weeks at the top of the ATP rankings.
In the course of a long interview with 'Tennis Magazin', Alexander Waske crowned Federer as the greatest ever.
Waske on Roger Federer
"In my eyes, you're the greatest when you're not just successful but have changed the entire game.
Roger Federer did that impressively. His elegance and playing style didn't exist before, plus this down-to-earth attitude. I have the utmost respect for him, not only as a player but also as a person," Waske said. "Roger doesn't care if the camera is on or not.
He is the way he is, friendly and not only nice to the people who are in important positions." For reference, the former World No. 1 has not played a competitive tennis match since the 2021 Wimbledon Championships and is recovering from knee surgery.
However, he is back in training and is expected to return to action sometime this year. "Looking ahead to the rest of his career, I hope he doesn't end his career on sick leave. That would certainly be a defeat for him. I wish it would boot up again and flash all its magic," Waske said.
"For him, it's about leaving the tennis court with dignity and playing." Roger Federer was undoubtedly the earliest entrant into the GOAT debate. In a career spanning more than 2 decades, the Swiss Maestro has been either on the top or nearby in almost every record in tennis.
His competitors Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic go neck to neck with him. However, the aura created by the 40-year-old remains unmatched.