In an interview to WWD, Roger Federer recalled his break from tennis in the second half of the 2016 season. The Swiss player was dealing with a knee injury and he played his last tournament of the year at Wimbledon. For Federer, not being able to compete for a long time was not really tough in some ways.
"Once you realize that health comes first, it’s OK. You let go of everything that was important to you before. Of course, family, friends — all that comes first — but once I made the decision that health comes first in tennis terms, I said this is not the end, this is actually the beginning of something new.
So I looked at it in a positive manner." He continued, "I’m a very positive-thinking person and so far it’s been quite easy. The days are slower, which is great. I had more time with the kids, doing my rehab, my strengthening.
I haven’t had to do surgery, so I haven’t been on crutches or anything, so life’s good actually considering I was not on the tour. I don’t want to do all this hard work in the gym and then you come back and you forgot how to play tennis.
That was not going to happen, it’s like riding a bike or skiing, you never forget how to do it, but it makes me happy to hit tennis balls. I love playing tennis dearly so it’s a lot of fun practicing. I’ve never had six months off before.
The longest I was ever out was seven, eight, nine weeks max. I had a groin [injury] in 2001, I twisted my ankle once and was back in three-and-a-half weeks, so this is a major decision for me not to play for four or five months.
Maybe I could have played three or four months later, but then I would have had only two tournaments, so I’d rather take six months and be super strong when I come back in January."