Roger Federer's countless fans fell into despair when the 20-time Grand Slam champion announced his decision to return to the pitch only at the beginning of 2021. The former World number 1, who only played in the Australian Open this year, has undergone a double operation on his right knee that will keep him in the pits until the start of next year.
The 39-year-old from Basel has chosen to retrace the footsteps of 2016, with the intention of being 100% fit for the Australian Open. According to his coach Severin Luthi, Federer could play a preparation tournament for the Happy Slam (according to the turn the calendar will take).
Meanwhile, former doubles star Rennae Stubbs praised the longevity of the eight-time Wimbledon champion, but also advocated the need for tennis to break free from its icon.
Stubbs on Roger Federer
Responding to a tweet suggesting Roger Federer’s absence through injury has delayed the return of tennis following the coronvirus break, Rennae Stubbs angrily dismissed such a claim.
“You think Madrid needs Roger to make money? You think the Canadian open needs Roger to make money? You think Monte Carlo, Queens, Wimbledon, Cincinnati needs Roger? Many of those tournaments haven’t had Roger before and gone ahead and been just fine.
I know how important and influential he and team 8 are but there is NO way they’re that important. Roger Federer has done more for the popularity of tennis than almost anyone in history,” Stubbs added. "Instead of ripping him, we should be thankful for him and his longevity, I am.
I’m also thankful for Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic”. Federer has already targeted Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics next year, provided that the Coronavirus emergency allows the five-circle event to be organized safely.
The Olympic gold medal is one of the few goals still missing from Roger's wall, gold in doubles in Beijing 2008 and silver in singles at the London 2012 Olympics. Since he began his career, Federer never really stayed home for more than a few weeks.
He kept traveling around the world winning titles. But as the pandemic swept across the world tennis took a break and players were forced to stay indoors. Federer is also strict with the rules. He hasn’t seen his parents in three months.
Federer and his wife are taking care of their four children by themselves. “I’ve been very strict and serious about the rules, I haven’t seen my parents in three months now, and we’ve been chasing around after the kids the best we can on our own, but I think this strange time has given us a chance to reflect and take stock of what really matters, which is family, friends, health, and happiness,” he said.