'Roger Federer's going into his 40th year and the competition...', says ATP legend



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'Roger Federer's going into his 40th year and the competition...', says ATP legend

If all goes according to his schedule, Roger Federer will return to the field at the 2021 Australian Open after almost a year of absence. The Happy Slam is in fact the only official tournament played by the Swiss this year, in addition to the historic performance with his eternal rival Rafael Nadal in Cape Town (which set a new spectator record for a tennis match).

The former world number 1 will turn 40 in August 2021, which is why so many fans and insiders are wondering if he can still aspire to win the most important titles. The new ranking system allowed the 20-time Grand Slam champion to remain in the Top 5 anyway.

In a long interview with RadioTimes, Tim Henman explained how such a stop could make things really complicated for the 39-year-old from Basel.

Henman on Roger Federer's return

Tim Henman on his part believes that Roger Federer will endure a difficult time upon his return but will fight hard to protect his status quo in the sport's upper echelons.

"He's not someone who wants to be out there making up the numbers. He wants to be competing and trying to win the biggest tournaments,” Henman asserted. "I wouldn't call this a short break,” Henman said.

"He's going to have been out for 11 months, and as you get older, coming back from big breaks away from the game doesn't get any easier”. Some are suggesting Roger Federer's skills and experience will ensure he can work his way back on the tour, much like he did in 2017.

The current World No. 5 won the Australian Open and Wimbledon that year despite missing nearly half of 2016 due to injury. "But he has the experience, the knowledge and the ability around his game,” Henman continued.

“It will be interesting to see how he is. We all know it doesn't get any easier as you get older. He's going into his 40th year, and the competition is as strong as it has ever been, so it will be fascinating to watch”.

Tim Henman believes that World No. 1 Novak Djokovic isn’t likely to be hampered by physical ailments, given how his style of play is not very taxing on the body. The Brit firmly believes that Novak Djokovic will outlast both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the tour.

"Physically, he's in such good shape, and I think his game doesn't take so much out of his body,” Henman said. “Certainly, in Novak's case, he has many more years”.