'Roger Federer turns 40 in August, we don't know what to expect,' says Annabel Croft



by   |  VIEW 5109

'Roger Federer turns 40 in August, we don't know what to expect,' says Annabel Croft

Roger Federer is one of the oldest remaining players on the ATP list, turning 40 in August and still standing in the top-5 thanks to his 2019 points. The Swiss star had another notable season two years ago, winning the Masters 1000 crown in Miami alongside three other titles and losing the Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic despite having two match points.

Finishing the season inside the top-3, Federer had high hopes ahead of 2020, kicking off the season at the Australian Open and reaching the semi-final, two decades after making the Melbourne debut. Still, the Swiss wasn't at his best, barely surviving challenges against John Millman and Tennys Sandgren and losing to Novak Djokovic in straight sets.

As it turned out, it was Roger's last official match so far, struggling with a knee injury and undergoing surgeries in February and May.

Annabel Croft spoke about Roger Federer's comeback.

Skipping the rest of the previous season, Federer should return in March in Doha and Dubai, deciding to withdraw from the Australian Open and spend more time on the practice court in what has been his most extended break from tennis in a career.

Like all of us, Annabel Croft isn't sure what to expect from Roger once he returns, never writing the grand champion off and emphasizing his love for the game. On the other hand, Croft can't tell for sure that Roger could reach the previous level and compete against the names like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem.

"As we look ahead to 2021, the Big Three are far from being in decline, are looking as likely as ever to dominate, with the caveat that nobody will quite know what to expect from Federer, who will turn 40 in August.

He seems to have been holding back the years for most of the last decade, and we have learned never to write him off, but does he have it in him to make one more all-conquering comeback? In the meantime, Thiem, Zverev and some of the other young guns have taken their games to new levels, while Djokovic and Nadal have continued to prove their durability.

In all the prevailing circumstances last year, Federer might even have contemplated retirement. Still, I imagine that the prospect of trying to win an Olympic singles gold medal in Tokyo, which is just about the only jewel missing from his crown, might have been one of his factors in deciding to continue.

There is also one key element that I think some people forget: his fundamental love for his life as a professional tennis player seems to override even his desire to win tennis matches and titles," Annabel Croft said.