Beyond the dire consequences of the global pandemic, 2020 was a turning point for men's tennis. Taking advantage of the absences of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal from the US Open, as well as the sensational disqualification remedied by world number 1 Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem became the first player born in the 90s to win a Grand Slam title.
According to many enthusiasts and insiders, 2021 could really mark the final handover given the rise of the Next Gen in recent months. There is also great anticipation for Federer's return to the circuit, who has been in the pits for 11 months due to a double operation on his right knee.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion will make his return to the Australian Open 2021, where he hopes to repeat the magical feat he achieved in Melbourne in 2017. In the latest edition of his podcast, Patrick McEnroe explained how the Big 3 will have a harder life in the majors , especially after the triumphs of Thiem in New York and Daniil Medvedev at the Nitto ATP Finals in London.
McEnroe on Roger Federer's return
During the time Roger Federer has been away from the court, Dominic Thiem won his first Major title at the US Open and Daniil Medvedev picked up the biggest title of his career at the Nitto ATP Finals in London.
"Since Roger's been out, which was basically the end of the Australian Open this year, you have had Medvedev who has become more solid at the top, had a great year last year, finished strong this year winning in Paris and the Year End Championships in London," Patrick McEnroe continued.
"You had Dominic Thiem go up a notch or two by winning his first Major at the US Open, finishing the year pretty strong and a good performance to reach the final in London. These guys are just a year more seasoned so I don't think that they are gonna be easier to beat for Federer which is not to say he can't do it," McEnroe went on.
"So I think it's gonna be difficult for Roger but that being said he's Roger Federer. I'm pretty sure that he's not gonna come back and even attempt to play unless he thinks he can be competitive and play in some of those big matches again."
Very soon, he will return to tennis to compete at the 2021 Australian Open. Along with his compatible racket, Roger will also sport his RF cap again.