Ivan Ljubicic: 'Roger Federer's motivation is incredible, he wants to reach the top'

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Ivan Ljubicic: 'Roger Federer's motivation is incredible, he wants to reach the top'

In 2016, Federer struggled with the left knee, undergoing surgery in February and entering only seven tournaments. The Swiss star skipped the post-Wimbledon action to rest his knee and start all over in 2017. Ivan Ljubicic became Roger's coach in 2016, waiting patiently for his player to return and preparing the best tactic after such a long break.

In one of the most impressive comebacks ever, Federer won 54 out of 59 matches and claimed seven ATP titles, including his first Majors since 2012 at the Australian Open and Wimbledon! After four ATP titles in 2018, Roger added the same number in the season behind us, becoming the second player with 100 ATP trophies in the Open era after Jimmy Connors when he conquered Dubai.

Federer squandered two match points against Novak Djokovic in the final at Wimbledon and finished the year-end rankings third behind two main rivals at 38. Things didn't work that well for Roger in 2020, experiencing the shortest season of his career after entering only one tournament.

Struggling with a groin injury, Federer saved seven match points against Tennys Sandgren in the Australian Open quarter-final, having nothing left in the tank for Novak Djokovic in the semis, in his last official match of the year.

After the record-breaking Cape Town encounter with Rafael Nadal that gathered the crowd of over 50,000, Federer underwent knee surgery in February, planning to return in June for Halle and Wimbledon. The coronavirus halted the season between March and August, and Roger wasn't ready to play when it started again, struggling to take the pain away and undergoing the second surgery in May.

Ivan Ljubicic is confident about Roger Federer's return.

The Swiss decided it would be best to wrap up the year and focus on 2021, making slow steps in the gym and hitting the practice court in October. Roger is hoping to get ready for the Australian Open that will take place in February, having a couple of extra weeks to work on his game and reach the desired shape ahead of Melbourne's first big tests.

Ivan Ljubicic went to visit his pupil in Switzerland, saying he has been working hard and feeling Roger's desire to find his A-game and fight for the big titles in the season when he turns 40. "We are getting new information about the Australian Open every day.

The Australian government wants the event to unfold under strict rules, and Tennis Australia works hard to do everything right. Both Roger and I tried to do our best in the past eight months. I have been to Switzerland, and we have trained on the court.

Roger is very motivated; he is incredible. Many people wonder why he still plays, finding it hard to understand that he still enjoys the game and wants to chase notable wins. He wants to be competitive and get back to the level he had before the injury," Ivan Ljubicic said.