With 20 Grand Slams on the showcase, now on the threshold of forty years, Roger Federer could say enough is enough. But he doesn't, because he is still having fun, he has the same hunger for wins as always and remains among the best on the circuit.
And then he is ready for his return to the field, in Doha, the theater chosen for the umpteenth rerun of a show that is always different in its actions, but always the same in its emotions. "I chose to come back with this tournament because it puts less pressure on me than others," says the Swiss.
A shareable choice, there will still be time for the super-challenges. At the moment he has already been seen on the pitch in training, the talent is the same as always, we will see if the physical condition will be too. Thanks to a "bye", Roger will miss the first round and will taste the flavor of the competition in the second, where he is waiting for one between Evans and Chardy (maybe as early as Wednesday).
If everything goes as planned and passes, he will presumably find Coric in the quarterfinals, a tough player who has already beaten Federer twice in important tournaments in his career. That will really be the first test bench, a true indicator of the state of psychophysical form of the former world number one in the ATP rankings (At the moment, despite the very long stop, he is firmly in fifth position).
All smooth even against Coric? He could then touch Goffin, or Shapovalov. And, if he reached the final, in contending for the trophy he would perhaps see one between Rublev and Thiem on the other side of the net. In that context, seven-time Grand Slam champion and former World No.
1 Mats Wilander has claimed that Federer's return at the age of almost 40 shows how passionate the Swiss is about tennis.
Wilander on Roger Federer
"The fact that he returns at almost 40 shows the incredible passion that drives Roger Federer," Mats Wilander wrote in his column for L'Equipe.
Mats Wilander even drew parallels between Roger Federer's love for the game and that of his greatest rival Rafael Nadal. According to Wilander, while the Spaniard may have a special liking for doing battle on the court, Federer loves tennis itself in a way that nobody else does.
"I have never seen someone who loves tennis as much as he does. Rafael Nadal has a love for the competition, but Federer loves the game," Wilander asserted.