'Does Roger Federer need to play? Probably not but...', says sport legend

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'Does Roger Federer need to play? Probably not but...', says sport legend

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are now heading towards the epilogue of their extraordinary careers, even if they don't want to leave the scepter without a fight. The Swiss and the Spaniard are currently tied with 20 Grand Slams each, followed by the Serbian still at 17.

The world number 1 will nevertheless have the chance to close the gap on Sunday, having qualified for the ninth time in the Australian Open final. Federer has been away from the circuit for over a year due to a double surgery on his right knee and will return to the field in Doha in the second week of March.

2021 could be the last career season for the 39-year-old from Basel, who has already targeted Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics as his main goals. The speech relating to Nadal is different, who will try to win his 21st Major at Roland Garros.

In an interview with Eurosport, snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan analyzed what drives Federer to continue playing at almost 40 years of age.

O'Sullivan on Roger Federer's return

"Does Roger Federer need to play? Probably not but he probably quite enjoys getting out of the house," Ronnie O'Sullivan told Eurosport.

Meanwhile, O'Sullivan also mentioned Nadal and Serena Williams when explaining how he has had to alter his game to keep up with the youngsters. "Running first, food second and pitch up and playing a bit of snooker," he added.

"If I can’t enjoy it now, then I don’t know why I would be playing. I can’t compete with the younger players. They pot too good and have a lot of cue power. It is like tennis, a lot of the older players like Serena Williams, Federer, Nadal.

You have these young guys coming so they are not going to have it their own way as much, so you have to adapt." O'Sullivan is in action at the Welsh Open this week and he has a record of 12-0 from his opening three matches.

"It was nice," O’Sullivan said. "I’ve changed my technique a bit as I wasn't able to manoeuvre the white. Was I happy to accept playing solid stuff that I did not think was good enough to win events? So I went back to the way I was playing 2011 to 2017 - a bit inconsistent but when it was good it was decent.

I would rather have a few good tournaments than a load of mediocre ones. My cueball is better and I am able to manufacture breaks. I am never going to compete with these young kids at long putting and safety, and youth, so I have to play to my strengths and it is trying to be creative. I had seven years where I was striking it solid, scoring heavy and winning a lot of tournaments."