2020 was a taste for fans of a Roger Federer-free ATP circuit. The 39-year-old from Basel has in fact played only one official tournament this year, the Australian Open, where he reached the semifinals even with a bit of luck.
Two surgeries on his right knee caused the Swiss phenomenon to close his season prematurely and take all the time necessary to recover physically. The former world number 1 will return to the field in Melbourne in 2021, but his main goals will be Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, which have been postponed by twelve months due to the global pandemic.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has had an extraordinarily long career, embellished with countless triumphs and records. It is good to remember that even an innate talent like Federer has taken a long time to become one of the greatest athletes of any era.
In a recent interview with Courts Mag, Roger was asked what advice he would give himself when he was 20. Thanks to the new pandemic-induced ranking system, Roger has maintained a place in the Top 5, which allows him to avoid hitting a Top 10 before the quarterfinals at the Australian Open.
Without the two-year ranking, Federer would have sunk to around 29th ATP position.
Federer on the importance of enjoying yourself
“Hey, don't worry, you have time Roger,” Roger Federer said. The former World number 1 then went on to talk about the importance of finding the right perspective in your approach towards life.
Rather than going too fast or too slow, he advocates a balance between the two. “And at the same time, like, it's gonna go by fast,” Federer continued. “It's a bit of both because, you know, a lot of the times when you're young, you're like, it's got to happen right now, we don't have time we got to do it.
And at the same time, you realize, hey, we have time, take your time, practice, you know, don't stress out about everything. So I think important to enjoy it. You know, not stress too much about every little detail”.
The ‘Swiss Master’ missed the bulk of the tennis action in 2020 as an extended period of recovery and rehabilitation kept him away from the Tour for months. Though he played the Australian Open this year, Federer missed a raft of events, including the French Open, US Open and the elite, season-ending ATP Finals.
While his time away from tennis and given rise to questions on his future in the game, Federer, himself, has dismissed all retirement talk.