As we all know, Roger Federer has not played an official tournament since the Australian Open, thanks to a double operation on his right knee that kept him stationary for the rest of the season. The phenomenon from Basel has decided to take all the time necessary to recover the best form, avoiding forcing the return and possibly jeopardizing the last phase of his career.
The former world number 1 will return to the field at the Australian Open 2021, which - according to reports from L'Equipe - should start on February 8 to allow players to arrive in Australia and carry out quarantine.
Despite having been away from the tour for about 11 months, the 20-time Grand Slam champion has maintained a place in the Top 5 thanks to the new ranking system introduced due to the pandemic. Roger has in fact kept most of the points earned in 2019, where he reached the semifinal at Roland Garros and the final at Wimbledon.
There is no doubt that Federer was among the biggest beneficiaries of the new ranking. Speaking on the Tennisnet podcast, Dirk Hordorff, vice president of the German federation, accused the Basel legend of using his position within the Players Council to protect his interests.
A recent study - which takes into account only the points earned during 2020 - has shown how Federer would be around 29th position without the benefit of the two-year ranking. The 39-year-old Swiss scored 720 points thanks to the semi-final centered in Melbourne.
Hordorff on Roger Federer
"Roger Federer simply changed the ranking method to protect himself. It is irresponsible and quite simply incorrect," Dirk Hordorff said. "In my opinion, he takes advantage of his position on the Players' Council.
It must nevertheless be said that without the change in ranking system, Roger Federer would not be in the top 50." The ATP Tour made another last-minute change just prior to the season-ending ATP Finals. Now, the points from the 2019 ATP Finals will also be retained as part of the players' ranking if they didn't qualify for the tournament in 2020 or didn't fare as well.
"That the Masters, which is the 19th tournament of the year anyway, will stay there for two years? That's perverse," Hordorff added. The Swiss star has conceded to reaching the last legs of his career, though he insisted that he doesn’t want to quote a retirement date.
Having missed a bulk of the calendar Tour events this year due to an extended post-surgery rehabilitation process, Federer, in a recent Q&A session on Instagram, said he was determined to regain full fitness and return to action. However, he hasn’t yet confirmed availability for the Australian Open next year.