After a long wait that lasted almost twelve months, it seemed that former world number one Roger Federer was now ready for his great return to the field: it should have taken place at the Australian Open, the scene of his latest campaign in an official Tour event.
ATP. In 2020, in fact, King Roger overtook Steve Johnson, Filip Krajinovic, John Millman, Marton Fucsovics and Tennys Sandgren, before losing to Serbian Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. Since then he has taken part exclusively in the exhibition match in South Africa against Rafael Nadal, on the occasion of the 'Match in Africa 6', in which he also played a doubles match with Bill Gates.
Having arrived in Dubai in recent weeks to better prepare for the Melbourne Grand Slam, it really seemed that Roger's return to the field was imminent. Unfortunately, the Swiss made it known that he was not yet physically ready to face a Grand Slam event, while the Australian Todd Woodbridge revealed that a great weight in his decision was also exerted by the problem of quarantine.
Gilles Simon recently expressed his surprise that people have questioned the on-court decision-making of 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.
Simon on the 2019 Wimbledon final
"I heard it so many times, 'Why didn’t he serve and volley against Novak when he had his two match points?'," Gilles Simon said.
"We're not going to start questioning Roger Federer’s choices in the important moments, are we?" Simon claimed that Roger Federer has played a certain way throughout his career, and that he executed the match points the way he did because he felt confident that that would win him the title.
"If anyone knows, it’s him," Simon added. "Federer doesn’t question it. He played his game. He's won a lot of Slams by doing this." The lead-up to the Australian Open 2021 has not been an auspicious one for the organizers, with three flight-loads of players forced into hard quarantine without practice after some crew members tested positive for COVID-19.
Worse, a total of 10 people involved with the tournament, including four players, also tested positive in the subsequent days, adding to the worries of top tournament officials, who have also been sweating on reports of players complaining about the quality of food being served during the quarantine.
The unsavory headlines, however, haven’t dulled or slackened the hectic pre-tournament activities and it now turns out that six different tournaments will be held in Australia over the next week, starting January 31, before the year’s first Grand Slam kicks off on February 8.