Roger Federer will turn 40 next August and has not played an official tournament since the Australian Open 2020. The Swiss phenomenon has undergone two operations on his right knee - one in February and the other in June - deciding to close his season prematurely also due to the delicate situation linked to the pandemic.
The former world number 1 will return to the pitch in Melbourne in 2021, with the Happy Slam set to kick off on February 8th to allow players to arrive in Australia and carry out the two-week mandatory quarantine. Despite having played only one tournament this year, the new ranking system allowed the 20-time Grand Slam champion to maintain a place in the Top 5 (Roger would have sunk to number 29 ATP without the two-year ranking).
The numerous fans of the 39-year-old from Basel are hoping that the feat of 2017 can be realized again. In the latest edition of his podcast, Patrick McEnroe reiterated that it will not be easy for Federer to get back competitive at his age, but he warned that it would be a serious mistake underestimate the Swiss legend.
Patrick McEnroe on Roger Federer
"I said that four or five years ago (that his decline had begun) before Roger Federer came back off the knee injury and won the Australian Open in what was one of the great performances of his career," Patrick McEnroe said.
"Winning a few five-setters and coming from a break down in the fifth against Nadal to win it and then he went on to win Wimbledon. I'm never going to say it's over for Federer again because the Federer fans like to keep reminding me of that," McEnroe added.
"But it certainly seems like it's gonna be more and more difficult. Especially when you look at where Novak Djokvoic and Rafael Nadal are, which is still at the top" - he added. The Swiss maestro has been a professional player since 1998.
He explained that while the lighter rackets require a lot of power, the heavier rackets give less vibrations. “I think it’s actually a very versatile racket you know. I think I feel like everybody can play with it,” Federer said about RF97.
He added, “It’s just nicer to play, that’s my biggest switch”. Rounding off, the record 8 times Wimbledon winner revealed that his current racket negated all the previous drawbacks.