Despite not playing for more than a year, Roger Federer only lost down two places in the world rankings. After his last game he was fourth, and now he's sixth. At the beginning of March the circuit was stopped by the rapid advance of the coronavirus pandemic, and the classification was frozen for 6 months, and then it was extended until one year.
That explains how some players who played little and nothing or who lost a lot kept their positions. But the freeze is not over, at least not 100%, but the players keep 50% of the points of the previous edition of a tournament in case they have not had a better performance in the present.
Reason why, for example, Rafael Nadal lost 180 points in Indian Wells 2019, instead of the 360 that corresponded to having reached the semifinals. Paul Annacone recently spoke about the greatness of his former wards Roger Federer and Pete Sampras.
Annacone claimed that both of them didn't need to expend a lot of effort to play tennis that was beyond the capability of a majority of their peers.
Annacone speaks about Roger Federer's love for tennis
"It doesn’t take a ton out of them to play at levels most players can’t even reach," Paul Annacone said of Roger Federer and Pete Sampras.
"When you add [Federer’s] pragmatic approach, the rollercoaster of emotions tied to winning and losing tends not to surface in his life. He is pretty steady." Annacone stressed that Federer's position and status in the sport come with a lot of responsibility, which the 39-year-old is adept at handling.
"He loves the game of tennis and enjoys the environment," Annacone said. "He has been at the top of the game for many years, and he accepts and enjoys the responsibility of being 'Roger Federer' — that sounds easy, but it is not."
Roger Federer is still passionate about lifting the Wimbledon for a record-extending 9th time. For that, he is investing more time in training than tournaments to be ready in time. Considering his two matches in Doha, nobody could believe that Federer had not played tennis in 13 months.
However, there are numerous improvements to be made, majorly on match fatigue, before the grass season begins. Ultimately, health will be the top-most priority for the Swiss maestro. Thus, there is no way to know where he will play next. But, in time, he will be back on the court again.