Roger Federer has been working hard for the new season in Dubai, his regular home during December. Unlike in the previous years, the Swiss star will not defend the national colors at the Hopman Cup, deciding to skip the ATP Cup between January 3-12 and focusing on the Australian Open preparations, chasing the third title in the last four years in Melbourne.
At the age of 38, Roger is still among the best players in the world after a season that saw him winning the Masters 1000 crown in Miami and three ATP 500 titles in Dubai, Halle and Basel, his favorite destinations in the calendar.
Still, the Swiss missed a chance to add another big trophy to his already impressive collection, squandering two match points in the final at Wimbledon against Novak Djokovic and missing the opportunity to grab the 21st Major crown and move further in front of Nadal and Djokovic who remain on his trail after sharing all four Majors in 2019.
Federer's coach Ivan Ljubicic thinks Roger is still capable of chasing big trophies, preparing to battle for them in the season ahead of us against his biggest rivals and the upcoming young guns. In 2019, Federer became the first player with 350 Grand Slam wins and 400 matches on the most notable tennis scene, extending overall records and adding more fuel to his age-charts that will hardly be beaten in the future.
At the Australian Open, Federer fought for the third straight crown before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in four tight sets, failing to convert any of 12 break chances and finishing the journey in the fourth round. Competing at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015, the Swiss found the clay magic again, beating Lorenzo Sonego, Oscar Otte, Casper Ruud and Leonardo Mayer in straight sets to enter the last eight.
There, he ousted a compatriot Stan Wawrinka in four sets after more than three and a half hours, setting the ultimate clash against Rafael Nadal, 14 years after their first semi-final in Paris! The Spaniard proved to be too strong and Roger set eyes on the All England Club, playing on a high level again and standing as one of the title favorites.
Lucas Pouille, Matteo Berrettini and Kei Nishikori had no chance against Wimbledon legend who then took down Nadal in four sets to forge the expected final versus Novak Djokovic. In one of the most intense Wimbledon finals ever, Djokovic prevailed in the deciding match tie break at 12-12 in the fifth set, previously saving two match points and overcoming all the attacks from the 37-year-old to lift the trophy and leave Federer empty-handed in what was one of the toughest loss of his career.
After a little bit slower start in New York, Federer destroyed Daniel Evans and David Goffin to find himself in the third straight Major quarter-final, losing to Grigor Dimitrov in five sets despite having a chance to seal the deal in four sets.
Roger should be among the title favorites in Melbourne together with Nadal, Djokovic, Thiem, Tsitsipas and Medvedev, ready to rechallenge the younger players and produce more of his magic that carried him towards 20 Major crowns since 2003.