"I plan to take the necessary time to be 100 percent ready to play at my highest level", Roger Federer proclaimed after his last arthroscopic knee surgery weeks ago. At 38, the Swiss has more experience than most of his tourmates but he's not immune from setbacks and has more mileage on his body than most ATP guys.
It was in February of this year that he needed the arthroscopic procedure. He couldn't ignore the situation much longer saying "My right knee had been bothering me for a little while. I hoped it would go away..." Federer acknowledged that he would miss 5 tournaments because of the surgery.
But a few months later he had to have another operation on the same knee. Four years ago the Swiss had his first arthroscopic surgery thinking it would be his last and it wasn't. Can Roger Federer accomplish a double-comeback? It's a complex situation to predict.
Not being able to participate in five tournaments didn't appear to be an ordeal after his surgery because it was only a month and then the coronavirus pandemic struck. Events were postponed and some cancelled until next year.
The Swiss had time to heal. But the world health crisis had aggravated issues and he made a statement that he'd end his 2020 season and look forward to next year. "I will be missing my fans and the tour dearly..." he had said.
The premise of some tournaments maybe not having fans wouldn't be to Federer's advantage so ending the season was to his best interest. There couldn't be possibly anything harder than that for Federer to endure.
The big 3 ATPs, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are dynamic.
It is the Swiss that is the only one facing the great divide.
He has had 3 knee surgeries. He is the oldest player and now trying to recover without having a setback as the last time. No one wants to count the Swiss out for his returning powers are spectacular. After the 2016 surgery he returned on tour to win his 25th Masters title from Stan Wawrinka at Indian Wells.
He went on the get his 26th off of Rafael Nadal at the Miami Masters. Today's competition though is fierce with many strong players being almost half of Federer's age. The knee surgeries and the world health crisis is playing roulette on Federer's return and superb tennis performances he's shown in the past.
Will the 2021 season show a brand new Roger Federer clear from knee injuries and no sight of limitations or restrictions from the pandemic that has plagued everyone for months? Will his fans be permitted in the stands as in earlier times to represent and support him? Can Roger Federer accomplish the great double-comeback adding onto his striking tennis resume? Time will play the decision for many players, but for Federer has his chances run out for being a top player alongside a growing heap of competitive young ATP guys? He has a year to come back and while many are looking at the situation with uncertainty, the No. 1 Novak Djokovic smiles and says "Nothing would surprise me when it comes to Roger Federer".
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