The idea of coming in unprepared as the other ATP players would catch up with Roger Federer as he'd admitted that "I havent' played proper matches in many, many weeks...95% of the guys are coming here with matches. I'm not one of those guys." It might be a great revelation that Federer would be healed after the arthoscopic surgery to his knee and do well again.
He would have missed 5 tournaments in the process: Dubai, Indian Wells, Bogata, Miami and the French Open. He has a job ahead of him. The positives of a good return is that the Swiss has a heavy resume being a 20-time grand slam title holder and has over a half a dozen doubles titles among other top singles titles.
He's been down sets and have came back to win the match. He has lost to NextGen guys as Stefanos Tsitsipas at the third round of the Australian Open. The idea of feeling the heat from the upcoming ATP guys may be a stark situation but Federer admitted, "He's done a really nice job...beating Djokovic in Toronto, the likes of Kevin Anderson, Zverev, now me here: that's what you need to do to get to the next level...He's doing that..." The future top rankers have that self-confidence and desire to not only win, but take down the older players in the process.
"I truly believe that I was going to win, from the very beginning. It's important to keep that mindset, to believe in yourself," Stefanos Tsitsipas has said on the issue. Federer also has experienced defeating the top contenders as well as the NextGen guys feeling probably that if he's did it before it might not be totally impossible to do it again...or will it? The negatives may be his age.
The lat 30s a player wouldn't really want to be making returns from not poor performances but injury and surgery. Many opponents, if not most are often a decade or more younger with less injuries than Federer; but also less experience.
The Austrian, Dominic Thiem ranked no. 3 just a notch above Federer is a huge threat and has beaten the Swiss too. But he's had many matches, maybe too many and had to withdraw from the Argentina Open due to exhaustion. Thiem has beaten Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev previously and lost to Novak Djokovic.
Bt the matches were all over 3 and 4 hours leaving Thiem mentally and physically drained. He is 12 years younger than Federer and on any given day can prove to be a gritty, unnerving player for the Swiss to handle. If his consistency is intact he can come out a victor and at times that may be one of Federer's worries.
Passing opponents' records and outdoing his own may not be at the top of Federer's mind when he makes the great comeback. It would truly be his strategies on defeating his opponents and not to get re-injured. He may be challenged to keep the rallies down to a minimum, for that's where all the wear and tear of the body can happen.
Gathering a win match by match will be of the utmost that Federer can want. He knows that the rest of the guys by the time he's returned to court, may have won titles and more experience. This would be the biggest challenge but also a threat on trying to gain success again on that level.
• Younes El Aynaoui shares surprising opinion he had after first Roger Federer meeting• Novak Djokovic details why he cannot be friends with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal• A moved Roger Federer breaks in tears at Andrea Bocelli's concert• ATP Finals Flashback: Roger Federer delivers historica double bagel• Novak Djokovic is about 'to still' another milestone from Roger Federer• Novak Djokovic breaks another major Roger Federer record