'I wouldn't be surprised if Roger Federer no longer plays at all', says top coach

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'I wouldn't be surprised if Roger Federer no longer plays at all', says top coach

Roger Federer hasn't played an official tournament since the Australian Open last January, where he almost miraculously reached the semi-finals. The 39-year-old from Basel underwent two surgeries on his right knee - one in February and the other in June - which led him to close his season prematurely to return to top form in 2021.

The former world number 1 will do his return to the Australian Open, but there is great uncertainty about his actual chances of being able to return to the Grand Slams at almost 40 years old. The Swiss phenomenon will focus mainly on Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, which have been postponed by twelve months due to the Coronavirus emergency.

In a recent interview, Boris Sobkin, who previously coached Evgeny Donskoy and especially Mikhail Youzhny, said Roger will struggle to return to his usual level after 11 months of hiatus. The Russian is convinced that Federer could also announce his retirement if he realizes that he is no longer in contention for the Grand Slams.

By winning the US Open last September, Thiem became the first player born in the 1990s to win a Major.

Sobkin on Roger Federer's return

"It is very difficult to predict what will happen to Roger Federer. I wouldn't be surprised if he no longer plays at all.

Or he will start, but he will not succeed, and he may end his career. They began to bury Roger Federer a long time ago, but I would not rush. At the same time, his participation in the Big 3 is already in doubt. He has not played for a year, and even such a genius tennis player as Roger Federer will find it difficult to rise to the previous level," Boris Sobkin said.

Boris Sobkin, who is also a member of the Russian Tennis Hall of Fame, went on to talk about how the top players are at a different level right now. The Big 3 has been narrowed down to the 'Big 2' of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, and the Russian is not sure whether Roger Federer can match their level anymore.

"Of course Roger will play, and play well, no doubt about that," Sobkin said. "But the question is about not just performing well, but at the top 3 level. This year we had the "Big 2", and all of the above guys have already reached a high level.

The younger players, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev are really ready to compete with the Big 3 in terms of their level of play," the Russian added.