When Roger Federer announced that he had undergone surgery on his right knee for the second time, many clouds gathered around his future. The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who has only played in the Australian Open this year, will be looking to repeat the extraordinary exploit of 2017, when he was able to win two Grand Slams after being away from the courts for about six months.
The 39-year-old from Basel is expected to make his return to Melbourne in 2021, although his longtime coach Severin Luthi hasn't ruled out the former world number 1's participation in a preparation tournament. At the end of Roland Garros 2020, Federer could see himself hooked by the eternal rival Rafael Nadal in the all-time Grand Slam classification.
Just before the Paris Grand Slam began, John McEnroe launched into some interesting predictions about the future of the Swiss legend.
McEnroe on Roger Federer
“You can’t put it past him to make a successful return next year because part of it is his love of the game and he just enjoys being out there so much.
I don't know what will happen if he doesn’t win as much as he does, presumably if it was me, I wouldn’t be enjoying it as much if I wasn’t winning but he is still legit in everyone’s minds two or three in the world, four in the world at the worst.
So, we’ll see how it plays out. Presumably down in Australia, I guess that’s where Roger Federer is probably going to come back, the courts suit him pretty well. I’m sure if he doesn’t feel like he’s capable of making a deep run, he’s not going to play, he’s no reason to, so I would presume he is going to be coming back at a high level but it’s just hard to imagine at 39 you could be as close to what you were, that would be extremely difficult to do" - John McEnroe said.
One of the greatest players in history, Roger Federer has competed at the highest level in the sport for almost two decades. Federer has inspired both tennis fans and the latest generation of players throughout his career with his attacking game style, varied skillset and fluid movement.
Less than seven years after Pete Sampras captured a then-record breaking 14th Grand Slam trophy at the 2002 US Open, the Swiss overtook the American’s mark at Wimbledon in 2009 and has held the top spot in the Grand Slam titles leaderboard ever since.