The Top 10 of the ATP ranking does not vary. Novak Djokovic finished 2020 in the lead by lining up 296 weeks as first in the ranking. The Serbian tennis player has 2180 points, ahead of Rafa Nadal and Austrian Dominic Thiem. Fourth was the Russian Daniil Medvedev, winner of the Masters before Roger Federer.
In sixth place we find Stefanos Tsitsipas ahead of the German Alexander Zverev, the Russian Andrey Rublev and the Argentine Diego Schwartzman. Speaking in a TV interview with Skavlan, 21-year-old Casper Ruud recalled how his state of mind before facing Federer was anything but calm.
According to Ruud, the Big 3 command a tremendous amount of respect from the players both on and off the court.
Ruud on facing Roger Federer
"It was in Melbourne a few years ago, and then I remember that we sat in a large cafe where all the players sit to eat," Casper Ruud said.
"When Roger Federer came in, it was completely quiet and everyone turned around. Now the legend is here." The World No. 27 added that the Big 3 - Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic - command a tremendous amount of respect among the players, not only on the court but off it as well.
"These three legends, they look taller than they might be. They are probably around 1.85 meters, but it may seem that they are two meters because of the respect you have for them," Ruud said. The former World No.1 faced a similar situation in 2016 when he was forced to withdraw from the tour midway.
When he got back on tour the following year, he enjoyed great success as he won the Australian Open and the Wimbledon Championships. However, things might not always work out in the same fashion as they did previously. Roger’s gotten older and all these years of playing tennis would’ve taken its toll on him.
Taking note of this, Paul-Henri Mathieu said, “Honestly for him, I find it hard to believe that is an advantage. We don’t know how he will recover. In all fairness, I think he himself, deep down, doesn’t know.
When you stop for a long time, especially at that age, you don’t know how you’re going to feel when you go back to it”. Sources reveal that Federer is definitely ready to make an exciting comeback at the Australian Open 2021.
The road for him at the Grand Slam will certainly not be easy with many of the Next Gen players playing some exceptional tennis. Although Federer won his last Grand Slam in Melbourne only in 2018, he would most probably be starting as the fifth seed this time making things harder for him.
Age is another factor that could act as an obstacle for the 39-year-old. The Swiss Maestro is certainly fit enough to hit some powerful forehand winners. However, will be able to cover the court easily is the real question.