Roger Federer has had a very discreet role in the last two years. The Swiss has had to deal with a serious injury to his right knee, which has considerably limited his appearances on the pitch. Suffice it to say that the 40-year-old from Basel only played 13 official matches in 2021, with nine wins and four losses.
Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics were his main goals, but the Swiss never managed to find the ideal condition. Following a tough loss to Hubert Hurkacz in the London quarterfinals, the former World No. 1 announced that he had suffered a relapse in his knee and that he was due for surgery for the third time in 18 months.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion therefore had to give up his last Olympic Games. Federer hopes to be back on the court in late summer or early fall, perhaps for the Laver Cup (to be held at London's O2 Arena in late September).
The Swiss was overtaken by Rafael Nadal in the all-time Majors ranking, while Novak Djokovic snatched the record for weeks at the top of the ATP rankings from him. In a YouTube video, Rick Macci - former mentor of the Williams sisters - crowned Roger as the greatest in history.
"We can talk about speed, quickness, balance, agility, fluidity. But the most important thing is temperament. Roger Federer makes mistakes, and you don't even see that anything has happened. He was the example in all the clubs in the world and to do it from a young age is incredible.
If you want your son to improve, make him see Federer."
James Blake reflects on King Roger
Former World No. 4 James Blake was recently asked to combine certain components from past and present players' games to create an "unbeatable player".
The American picked Rafael Nadal's mentality, Novak Djokovic's backhand and return, and Roger Federer's forehand, among other shots. "There's so many mentally tough players ... but I just think what he's (Rafael Nadal) done mentally, the way he, I mean you've never seen him once smash a racket on court.
You've never seen him get down on himself to the point where it seems like it affects the next point, you don't see him getting onto people's faces," Blake said. Blake had no qualms picking Federer's forehand, which is widely regarded as one of the best shots in tennis history.
"Forehand I got to go with Roger I think," he said. "He hits it so unbelievably well, precise and I know you said I could say James Blake or something but I'd be stupid because I remember thinking 'I wanna go forehand to forehand with anyone, I can do that.
But Roger was the one guy that kind of showed me 'nah', I can't say me when he did that to me so many times to make me realize his forehand is better than mine."