After Roger Federer announced that he is still not 100% physically, rumors have intensified that 2021 could represent the last year of his unrivaled career. The last official match of the 20-time Grand Slam champion dates back to the Australian Open semi-final against Novak Djokovic, before undergoing a double operation on his right knee that marked the end of his season.
These months were not enough for the former world number 1 to find the best condition, so much so as to seriously jeopardize his participation in the Australian Open 2021. Not even the postponement of the Happy Slam in February could be enough to guarantee the presence of the 39-year-old Swiss in Melbourne Park.
Thanks to the new ranking system induced by the pandemic, King Roger has kept a place in the Top 5, hoping to see him again on the pitch for the triptych Wimbledon-Tokyo Olympics-US Open. In a recent interview granted to Wide World of Sports Radio, legendary double actor Todd Woodbridge expressed some interesting thoughts on the future of the Swiss.
The Australian, who retired 15 years ago at the end of Wimbledon, suggested Federer might implement a similar idea.
Woodbridge on Roger Federer's retirement
"I finished at Wimbledon because that was the mecca for me, that's where it all began, that's the home of tennis,” Todd Woodbridge explained.
"I really feel that's where Roger Federer would like to leave, and it could then be on his own terms”. Woodbridge also expressed his disappointment at the way the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted Roger Federer's signing off years.
"I think it's such a shame that if this is what happens to Roger, COVID has taken away from it being on his terms,” Woodbridge said. The 49-year-old went on to assert that the ‘Big 3’ of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic have produced a golden era in men’s tennis.
"It's a great story, it's great drama. It's been one of the greatest eras of any sport that we could've ever watched," the Aussie said. "You've got to think we will struggle to get back to those heights any time soon because they were phenomenal players to have all come through at once”.
At 39, Federer, by his own admission, isn’t likely to carry on for too long. And with Nadal and Djokovic still having some tennis years ahead of them, provided they stay fit and motivated, they are likely to race for most Major titles once Federer goes.
At an award show in Switzerland, Federer effectively ruled himself out of the Australian Open next year, saying he was unsure how long his frail knees could hold.