For the first time in the last 23 editions, the Australian Open could not count on the presence of Roger Federer on the draw. The double operation on his right knee knocked out the former world number 1, but there is no doubt that the strict measures imposed by the local government contributed to the Swiss's decision.
The last official appearance of King Roger now dates back to the semi-final of the Australian Open 2020, when he surrendered in three sets to the future winner Novak Djokovic. Many are wondering if - on the threshold of 40 years - 2021 will represent the last season of his fantastic career.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who will make his return to the field in Doha in the second week of March, has already stated that his big goals will be Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics in the summer. Contrary to expectations, Federer should also take part in the clay season.
The new ranking system has in fact allowed the 39-year-old from Basel to retain a place in the Top 5. Interviewed by 'GQ Magazine', former French star Nicolas Escude analyzed the prospects of the Maestro.
Escude talks about Roger Federer
"At the same time for several years, we all ask ourselves the same question: is Roger Federer entering his final year? The more the years go on, the closer it gets.
But to say that this is the last year in 2021, pfff… I will wait and see anyway. There he said he wasn’t physically ready because of his knee to come and play the Australian Open. But I think he might not be interested in the conditions for entering the tournament.
How will this year go in terms of health for tennis? Are all tournaments going to take place? In what conditions ? We just know that Roger Federer is not going to play for another five years" - Nicolas Escude explained.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been the face of men’s tennis for several years running. They’re even in terms of Grand Slam victories, and there’s often a debate about who’s the better among these two.
Recently, there was a positive development regarding Federer’s return on Tour. The Swiss ace will be seen at the ATP Doha 250, which begins on the 8th of March. The 20-time Major winner will return to competitive tennis after a thirteen-month long hiatus.
Roger is the most successful player at this venue, having won the title on three occasions, in 2005, 2006, and 2011.