Roger Federer underwent two surgeries on his right knee in 2020, staying off the pitch for most of last season. Contrary to expectations on the eve, the Swiss phenomenon has also decided to skip the Australian Open 2021, thus giving up the Happy Slam for the first time in the last 23 editions.
Despite the very long absence from the tour, the former world number 1 nevertheless maintained a place in the Top 5 thanks to the new ranking system introduced to cope with the effects of the pandemic. During his inactivity period, the 20-time Grand Slam champion also kept busy launching his new line of shoes - The Roger - created in collaboration with the 'On' company.
In a recent interview with Smash Magazine, his coach Severin Luthi revealed that - despite a career spanning over two decades - King Roger never complained or wanted to take a break from tennis. The Basel legend could make him return to Rotterdam or Dubai.
Luthi on Roger Federer
"My feeling is absolutely that this (early retirement) won‘t be the case at all," Severin Luthi said. "Roger Federer still loves the life on the tour a lot. Nearly every player says at some point that he needs to go home as he would need a break.
I haven't heard this once from him in all the years. He makes it pleasant for himself on the tour, he knows many people, has friends everywhere. But of course you can‘t rule it out 100%." The world has been paralyzed ever since the coronavirus pandemic has taken over.
With the ATP calendar severely disrupted, there hasn't been much tennis to miss out on this year - which has conspired to act in favor of Roger Federer during his injury break. "If someone has an injury, 2020 was an ideal year in retrospect, especially considering the rankings," Severin Luthi admitted.
Meanwhile, players have reached Australia ahead of the Australian Open 2021. However, there are certain players who have been facing difficulties with regard to the quarantine protocols. Novak came to their aid and issued a list of proposals to Tennis Australia, to ease things out for these players.
However, his demands have been rejected by the governing authorities. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews issued a statement that said, “The rules will not be changing because the public health advice is where those rules came from.
People are free to provide lists of demands, but the answer is no. I know that there’s been a bit of chatter from a number of players about the rules”. Andrews also maintained that players were well informed about the scenario they would be dealing with during their isolation period.
Following that, he added, “Well, the rules apply to them as they apply to everybody else, and they were all briefed on that before they came, and that was the condition on which they came. There’s no special treatment here. Because the virus doesn’t treat you specially. So neither do we”.