Roger Federer is looking forward to returning to the pitch after almost a year's hiatus, considering that the 39-year-old's last official appearance dates back to the Australian Open. The 20-time Grand Slam champion then traveled to Cape Town for the historic performance with Rafael Nadal, who set a new audience record for a tennis match.
Almost no one imagined that the former world number 1 would undergo two surgeries on his right knee in the space of a few weeks, which led him to close his 2020 well in advance. If the rehabilitation process goes smoothly , Roger will make his return to the Australian Open 2021, provided that the Happy Slam can be played given the Coronavirus emergency.
The global pandemic will force tournaments to reduce the number of spectators next year again, a factor that has been a great challenge for all players. Speaking on Amazon Prime, former WTA star Daniela Hantuchova explained that Federer will also need a period of adjustment to the new situation.
Even at the age of 39, Federer remains one of the most successful athletes globally. Despite playing with a dropper this year, Roger still tops the list of the world's highest-paid sportsmen, beating competition from superstars such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and LeBron James.
Hantuchova on Roger Federer's return
"I think everyone is looking forward to seeing Roger Federer," Daniela Hantuchova said. "It's great to see him practicing as well. To me, I thought for someone like Novak and Rafa, it must be so difficult to suddenly play without all that support and the fans and the energy they get from the crowd," she added.
"They handled that really well so it's going to be interesting to see how Roger reacts to that. It's going to be something new for him, even though Australia maybe will be played with a crowd - I don't know, we'll see."
Since the tour resumed in August, several tournaments, including the US Open and last week's ATP Finals in London, have been played behind closed doors. Tennis Australia are currently in discussions with Victorian officials regarding the schedule of the Australian Open, and have proposed to have limited fans on-site at Melbourne Park for the first Grand Slam of the 2021 calendar.
Emphasizing the importance of watching the three greatest tennis players ever, she further added, “I think everyone wants to see all three guys playing in tournaments for as long as they can because this generation has been so special and we’ve been so blessed to be a part of it in any way, whether that’s spectators, the fans, players”.