'Roger Federer thought he’d play his best until...', says legend

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'Roger Federer thought he’d play his best until...', says legend

Novak Djokovic is on the hunt for the 18th Grand Slam title (ninth in Australia). Regardless of whether he succeeds or not, he is already sure to become the tennis player with the most weeks at the top of the ATP rankings: Rafael Nadal's 5-set defeat against Stefanos Tsitsipas this morning means that the Spaniard can no longer override him in a short time.

On 8 March Djokovic will therefore celebrate his 311st week at the top, one more than Roger Federer's 310. A goal that probably could have reached even earlier without the blocking of the ranking of last spring but then balanced by the freezing of the same that allowed Nole to keep the 2,000 points of Wimbledon and in any case I am going to finish this week, even the 2000 points of the ' Australian Open 2020.

Ironically, the week of March 8 will mark Federer's return to the pitch after almost 14 months of absence from the tour. Roger Federer's credentials as the Greatest Of All Time have been the subject of intense discussion for a long time.

Rod 'Rocket' Laver has now weighed in on the subject too, calling Federer the predominant player of this era but adding that the Swiss' two main rivals could catch up to him in the future.

Laver on chatting to Roger Federer

"Roger Federer, when I chatted to him the past year or so, he thought he’d play his best until he’s 40 and I think he’s pretty much on it," Rod Laver said.

"Unfortunately, you know, his knee has been giving him some trouble. So he had an operation on the knee that will set him in good position." While Laver believes Federer has very little chance of picking up another Roland Garros trophy, he claimed that the Swiss is a strong candidate for the last two Slams of the year.

"I wouldn’t think too much about him winning the French, but I think Wimbledon is certainly going to be there and the US Open," the Aussie legend said. "I think he can win more tournaments." It has been more than a year of inaction for Roger Federer now.

He last played at the Australian Open 2020, where the Swiss maestro saw a straight-set loss against the Serbian Novak Djokovic. It was a tough series for him where he had to test his physical limits in 2 five-setters. The 20-time grand slam champion later in the same year underwent double knee surgeries.

All of this kept him away from the tennis court even after various countries lifted lockdown and the sport made a much-awaited return. However, the latest news is a big positive for the Federer camp.