At 39, Roger Federer is still eager to compete on a high level and fight for the most prestigious trophies. The coronavirus pandemic had turned the tennis season upside down, with no action between March and August and a much different calendar from what we are used to having.
The reduced 2020 season saw three Majors and three Masters 1000 events, with the crowd favorite Roger Federer competing at only the first of those in Melbourne in January. The 20-time Major champion endured the shortest season of his career, playing only the Australian Open and undergoing two knee surgeries in February and May.
Spending time at home with his family, Roger had to start all over when he recovered from the second surgery, hitting the gym and working on his fitness, feeling no pain in his knee. Not wanting to rush anything, the Swiss returned to the practice court once he thought he is ready, embracing short runs and increasing the pace of his training for notable weekly improvements.
Eager to make a return in January 2021, Federer has been working hard on his game, looking determined to make another push more than two decades after stepping on the professional scene. The former French player Henri Leconte said the entire tennis world wants to believe in Roger's comeback.
Leconte would love to see Roger competing for the place at the top and the biggest titles again, although he questions his abilities after such a long break, time spent with his family and the young guns ready to take the ATP throne in the upcoming years.
Roger claimed four ATP titles in 2019 to finish inside the top-3 behind Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, opening the 2020 season at the Australian Open.
Roger Federer hasn't played since the Australian Open due to knee issues.
Struggling with a groin injury, Federer had to save seven match points against Tennys Sandgren in the quarter-final's fourth set, prevailing in the decider but losing almost all the energy!
In the semis, Novak Djokovic defeated Roger in straight sets, the Basel's native last official match of the season. After the record-breaking Cape Town encounter with Rafael Nadal, Federer underwent knee surgery in February, planning to return in June for Halle and Wimbledon on his beloved grass.
Roger failed to take the pain away, undergoing another surgery in May and deciding to skip the rest of the season. Federer will kick off the new season from the top-5 after keeping the points from the previous season, hoping to compete again at the Australian Open in February.
"We all want to believe in Roger's comeback. It's been a long and challenging year, and the concerns are related to motivation and will it still be there after such a long break and time spent with his family.
No can predict his limits; we would like him to fight for Major titles again, but it will not be easy to match the younger generation, which has shifted into a higher gear in recent years. Roger has done so many things, that's why he makes us dream; we would like to see him at the top. Still, it will be very hard," Henri Leconte said.