There are about ten days to go before Roger Federer's return to the field. The Swiss champion, stopped by a performance against Rafa Nadal in Cape Town on 7 February 2020, announced a few weeks ago his return to the ATP 250 in Doha.
There is a lot of curiosity in seeing him again in the middle of the field, both for the shots he can give us and to understand in what conditions we will be able to admire him. Roger Federer's fitness trainer Pierre Paganini has admitted that retirement undoubtedly crossed the tennis icon's mind during his injury lay-off, but says there are no plans to call time on his career just yet ahead of his comeback next month.
Pierre Paganini on Federer
"Roger Federer only plays when he knows he can play well again. Now we all have to see how the body reacts. It is important to protect it," Pierre Paganini told the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger.
"You have to have done a lot by now if you want to get back on the court. It really is not comparable to 2016. Already It's a great victory if you can get back on the court, play and then say, 'I'm fine, looking forward to the next game.
At the moment it is only clear that he plays in Doha, then we will see if Dubai'" Paganini also admits that retirement would have almost certainly crossed Federer's mind during his long injury lay off, but insists the 39-year-old is now only focussed on the immediate future.
"When you decide to stop, you will stop. Because you can't or don't want to. Of course there is a limit," he added. You are training very hard right now because you want to know: where is this limit? And where am I in relation to that? And it is Roger Federer who says that.
On Federer’s undying passion for the game, the fitness coach said that when someone pushing 40 has to do exercises tailored for a 17-year-old and gets better at them every day, it’s a testament to his level of commitment to the sport.
Lavishing praise on the icon, Paganini said Federer owes his enviable fandom and following not just to his incredible court skills but also to his grounded, affable nature. “He will always be this human being as long as he lives,” said Paganini in wholesome praise of the Swiss.
He added that the fitness team is working “hard on his speed” as it will be a critical feature of his game as he renews battles with his top rivals again.