Roger Federer was named the Swiss best sportsman of the last 70 years at the Swiss Sports Awards on Sunday, 13th December. The 39-year-old won 49.1% of the public votes. The world no. 5 attended the award ceremony that was held in Zurich, in person.
Despite Federer’s accolade being the highlight of the event, the 20-time Grand Slam champion’s statements after receiving the award added to the uncertainty about his return to the tour in 2021.
Roger Federer's comeback gone awry?
Reportedly, Federer said, “I hope that in 2021 I will return to the courts.
We will see. But if my career had to end there, well it would be incredible to end it with this award”. Earlier, Federer had said that his preparation had not gone the way he had wanted to and while he was doing everything to be ready for the Australian Open, it would be “touch and go”.
He, however, cited his priorities as playing Wimbledon, the Olympics, the US Open, and the French Open. Prior reports about Federer had mentioned that the possibilities of the former world no. 1 making as successful a return to the tour – after a nearly 11-month absence – in 2021, the way he did in 2017, were limited.
The eight-time Wimbledon champion announced the shutting down of his 2020 season after undergoing a second operation on his right knee, in June. He had said that his recovery process had been impacted because of the second surgery but he was back in training although contrary to his expectations and the target date of October, he still wasn’t at 100% in December.
The 2021 Australian Open that has been rescheduled and postponed by a couple of weeks is expected to be held from 8th-22nd February. The tournament’s qualifying event will be held in Dubai. Novak Djokovic is the defending Australian Open champion.
The Serbian defeated Dominic Thiem in the final to win his seventh Australian Open title. Roger Federer has won the Australian Open six times in his career. His last win at Melbourne Park came in 2018 when he defeated Marin Cilic in the final.
It is also the last Major (his 20th) he won. In 2019, Federer lost in the Australian Open fourth round to Stefanos Tsitsipas while he exited in the semis in 2020, losing to the eventual champion, Djokovic.