2013 was perhaps the most complicated season for Roger Federer from a physical point of view. In fact, back pain accompanied the Swiss for most of the year, forcing him to an early elimination at both Wimbledon and the US Open.
The Basel phenomenon, who had entered the Championships as reigning champion, left the scene in the second round at the hands of Sergiy Stakhovsky, while in New York it was Tommy Robredo who inflicted one of the worst defeats in a Grand Slam.
The well-known sports journalist Simon Graf, who also wrote a biography dedicated to the former world number 1, participated in the latest edition of the podcast 'Tennis with an Accent', in which he told an anecdote dating back to the Gstaad tournament in 2013 The 20-time Grand Slam champion made his return to Switzerland after a very long time, but a physical condition far from 100% forced him to give in immediately to the not irresistible German Daniel Brands.
Graf on Roger Federer
"It was in Gstaad where Roger Federer lost that match against Brands, in Switzerland," Simon Graf said. "It was a big thing, they even gifted him with another cow. He was back in Switzerland, he knew he wouldn't be 100%.
I saw him warm up on the courts of the Palace Hotel. It was a terrible sight, he could hardly move. He lost in straight sets against a not a great player. What I really was impressed with is how he behaved himself in the press room.
Like he really did not want to talk, but people were really excited to see him on that stage," Graf added. "So he got so many questions in different languages about his back. He didn't know himself, he did not know if he was getting better.
It was a difficult year for him. But still he stayed there for almost half an hour and answered all the questions. Afterwards there was a meet and greet, he did that as well. In his shoes I would've left immediately. I think he realized people were so excited to see him in Switzerland so he had to give back, even though he couldn't play well."
For over a year now, the tennis world has been waiting for the comeback of the Swiss maestro. His withdrawal from the Australian Open has only added fuel to the fire of his long-awaited return. Since Federer has continued to train, there is much hope of seeing him right after the Australian Summer Events.
He will also have his eye on the Olympic Gold as well as the Grand Slams in 2021. Considering that the Swiss maestro is approaching the end of his career, fans want a big farewell for him. Another title at Wimbledon could certainly be just that.