Roger Federer's long absence from the circuit also had repercussions in statistical terms. The Swiss phenomenon, who remained in the Top 10 thanks to the new ranking system, however, had to cash in on the engagement of the eternal rival Rafael Nadal at 20 Grand Slam titles.
The 34-year-old Majorcan won his 13th Roland Garros in October last year, thus ending a very long chase. Earlier this month, Novak Djokovic also snatched the all-time record of weeks at the top of the world rankings (which stood at 310 weeks) from King Roger.
At the age of 40, many are wondering if the Basel legend can still be competitive to increase its showcase. The Swiss knows very well that he has his greatest chances at Wimbledon, where in 2019 he had come close to a resounding triumph by wasting two match points in the final against Djokovic.
Federer will try his latest assault on the Championships this summer, not forgetting the Tokyo Olympics and the dream of a gold medal in singles. In the latest edition of the 'Match Points' podcast broadcast on Tennis Majors, former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli dwelt at length on the Maestro's chances.
Bartoli on Roger Federer's chance
"Roger Federer already got beaten in the No. 1 weeks by Djokovic and I don't think he wants to lose all his records," Marion Bartoli said. "But I don't think he wants to put his body on the line just for one record.
He has achieved enough." The Frenchwoman sounded confident that the Swiss’s decision to play the clay season would reap dividends, as the demanding nature of the surface can help bring Federer back to shape. "Roger almost never took a bad decision in his career," Bartoli said.
"Living here in Dubai, I know, it's really hot, so if he's able to practise outside for a month, he's going to get really fit. Clay is not about the matches, it's about the fitness to play long matches.
I think for him, clay will be the perfect way for him to get those muscles back working. The time he spends there will help him in match situations." Federer has so far only played two matches since the 2020 Australian Open.
He moves into the clay-court season with little match practice. In the next two months, Federer might experiment and get match fit for the grass-court season in June. ATP froze the rankings, thus no player lost points for no participation.
So Federer never lost his 2019 points and thus kept his place in the top 10. If the rankings weren’t frozen, Federer would have found himself on the fringes of the top 100.