It was a frustrating year for Roger Federer, who had to watch the others from the outside. Rafael Nadal equaled his record of 20 Grand Slam titles with his thirteenth win at the French Open. The Swiss gave little details on his progress, but had tweeted "Back to work" in early November with a photo of him training on the pitch.
On Sunday, he published an ATP promotional video with the message "Excited for what is to come" Federer said the next few months will be "very important" as he foresees a challenging 2021, including the Tokyo Olympics, where he is aiming for the first single gold medal.
“I wish I had made more progress, but I'm still happy with where I am,” Roger continued. “My second knee surgery was a big setback, but things have been steadily moving forward over the past few months.
"We are taking our time, but the next two, three months will become very important to me." Federer, who boasts 103 singles titles, had previously undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left knee - the first operation of his career - in early 2016, after suffering a strange injury while bathing his daughters.
Ivan Ljubicic recently revealed that Roger Federer will commence his off-season training in Dubai from mid-December. Ljubicic's comments make it apparent that the Swiss legend fully intends to return to the courts in 2021.
Ljubicic on Roger Federer's schedule
"The first objective is obvious, to prepare for the first commitments of 2021, when we can play," Ivan Ljubicic said. "Then we'll see. I could say Wimbledon but it's obvious, that's always the top target for him.
We will discuss the schedule when there is enough news," he added. "It is difficult to do it now, without fixed points. We are moving forward trying to prepare for a normal year. From 14 December, we are in Dubai to train, then, who knows."
According to Ljubicic that is not a God-gifted talent, but the result of thousands of hours of practice. "Even when Roger Federer goes weeks without playing, the ease he has in finding the rhythm is incredible," Ljubicic said.
"From the outside it may seem a natural gift, but it is not something that comes from nowhere: it is the thousands and thousands of hours of repetition, which have built this apparent fluency. (People talk) As if it all came without effort: but the effort is there indeed, in his life as an athlete."
The details of the first quarter of the ATP tour, including plans for the Australian summer, have yet to be confirmed. However, some key details have emerged on social media over the past few days.