Roger Federer: 'I hope that I will be fully in shape'

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Roger Federer: 'I hope that I will be fully in shape'

There will be nine of the top ten players in the world. If we talk about the top-20, then there will be even eighteen. These numbers clearly show the appeal that the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters has on racquet champions. A charm that has not evaporated even after the cancellation of 2020.

Yes, because, despite the empty stands and the heavy limitations to which they will be forced, the athletes have enthusiastically accepted the invitation of Zeljko Franulovic, director of the event. Djokovic and Medvedev, Nadal, Thiem and Tsitsipas will meet on the fields of the Monte-Carlo Country Club between 10 and 18 April.

There will be, among the many, Zverev, Wawrinka, Berrettini, Fognini, Dimitrov and Carreño Busta. On the other hand, Roger Federer will not be present who, busy in training, will probably get back into the game in May in Madrid in the Mutua Open and in Rome at the Internationals of Italy.

In a recent interview, Roger Federer declared his eagerness to keep being a hurdle for the younger stars - just like he has been for well over a decade. The 39-year-old claimed that he, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal would try to continue holding a vice-like grip on the tour and keep winning titles.

Roger Federer on the 2021 Tokyo Olympics

"One of them might defeat me but fail to defeat Novak Djokovic, or beat Novak but fail to beat Rafael Nadal, or beat Rafa but fail to beat me," Roger Federer said. "We (the Big 3) will try to stand fast for the longest time possible and will try to increase the number of our titles."

Roger Federer then missed the 2016 Rio Olympics due to injury. That makes the 2021 Tokyo Olympics his last shot at glory, and on Tuesday the Swiss reiterated his desire to be fully fit in time for the showpiece event. "The Olympics is a major goal for me," Federer said.

"Unfortunately, I missed the Rio Olympics (in 2016) because of a left knee injury. I hope I will return to the Tokyo Olympics. I hope that I will be fully in (shape) by then and that questions about my knee will stop."

It’s going to be incredibly hard for Federer since arch-rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are still in prime form. To top it up, players like Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev have constantly challenged the hegemony of the Big-3 in the past year and have turned into formidable forces.

For Federer, the season will truly begin at the Halle Open, which will act as a preparatory ground for Wimbledon. With three months’ go for Wimbledon, Federer will aim to return to full fitness and get some tournaments under his belt to gain confidence before heading for the green lawns of England.