After only one tournament in 2020 and two knee surgeries, the 20-time Major champion Roger Federer is working hard on a comeback set for January next year. Roger's coach Ivan Ljubicic has confirmed the good news, saying the Swiss star increases the time spent on the court and his sessions' intensity, hoping for a strong run in Melbourne in two months.
At 39, Federer is still eager to compete on a high level and challenge the rivals from the top. The coronavirus pandemic has forced the ATP to embrace a more moderate calendar, with no action between March and August and a much different schedule from what we are used to having.
The reduced 2020 season saw three Majors and three Masters 1000 events, with the crowd favorite Roger Federer competing at only the first of those in Melbourne in January. It has been the shortest season in Roger's career, playing only the Australian Open and undergoing two knee surgeries in February and May.
The Swiss returned to the tennis court two weeks ago, embracing short practice runs and increasing the pace of his training for notable weekly improvements. Roger claimed four ATP titles in 2019 to finish inside the top-3 behind Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, skipping the ATP Cup and starting the current season at the Australian Open.
Ivan Ljubicic is confident about Roger Federer's practice court progress.
Battling hard against John Millman and Tennys Sandgren, Roger reached another semi-final down under, giving his best to overcome all the obstacles and remain on the title course.
Struggling with a groin injury, Federer saved seven match points against Sandgren in the quarter-final's fourth set, prevailing in the decider to set Novak Djokovic clash. With nothing left in the tank, Roger suffered a straight-sets defeat, which turned out to be his last official match of the season.
After the record-breaking Cape Town encounter with Rafael Nadal, Federer underwent knee surgery in February, planning to return in June for Halle and Wimbledon on his beloved grass. Roger failed to take the pain away and underwent another surgery in May, staying away for the rest of the season and getting ready for 2021.
The Swiss is still ranked in the top-4 thanks to those points from 2019, not losing ground to the rivals ahead of him and having a nice starting position for the Melbourne race. "Roger Federer is in the recovery phase; I would say that things are going in the best possible way.
He trains more and with higher intensity; I'm curious to see how much we can push in the coming months. The program we had in mind has been fully respected, and it is premature to talk about plans now, no matter how confident we are.
I certainly can't say what we will do in April, or will Roger compete on clay next spring. I know we want to play a great Australian Open and then evaluate the next steps," Ivan Ljubicic said.