The past two years have been a real ordeal for Roger Federer, who was limited by a serious right knee injury. The former world number 1 played just 13 official matches in 2021, never giving the feeling of being in top form.
The Swiss phenomenon was clearly beaten by Hubert Hurkacz on the grass of Wimbledon, even getting a bagel in the third set. A few weeks after the Championships, he announced he had to have knee surgery for the third time in 18 months.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion will almost certainly miss the 2022 edition of Wimbledon, as his long-time coach Severin Luthi also reiterated. The 40-year-old from Basel hopes to return to the field in late summer or early autumn, but it is still too early to give up.
The Swiss had to overtake 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 a recent interview with 'Tennis Magazin', Alexander Waske praised King Roger's humility and helpfulness.
Waske opens up on King Roger
"In all my years, I have never seen Roger Federer arrogant and disrespectful towards other players. During the 2006 French Open, we were in the massage room watching a match of a player who was about to win the biggest game of his career and suddenly couldn't hit the ball," Waske said.
"Roger said: 'My God, he's tight.' The second we thought that he could talk well as a player and levitate above things, he turned around and said: 'Don't we all know how does that feel?' That was where I saw Roger from the vulnerable and honest side," he added.
In a conversation with Waske, the Swiss had revealed that he preferred to go into contests as the favorite because it helped him enjoy his time on the court even more. "I once asked him, 'Roger, I often cramp up when I go into a match as the favorite.
How do you deal with that?' He said, 'I need to feel like a favorite. I always go onto the pitch with the same feeling because I know how it feels when I'm playing well.' That surprised me because no one feels the same all the time.
Every day is different. He said that the lightness on the pitch is a matter of feeling and he [simply] slips into this feeling," Waske said. Not being able to completely recover from the knee injury he suffered in 2020, Federer has been out of the tour since the 2021 Wimbledon.
Getting his knee operated for the third time post his 2021 Wimbledon loss, tennis fans around the world are desperately waiting to see Maestro back on the court. However, not everyone has to be that patient to see the 20-time Grand Slam champion.