Roger Federer aroused the enormous curiosity of all when he returned to the pitch in Doha about a month ago. The former world number 1 has in fact played his first official matches since the semifinal of the Australian Open 2020, lost in three sets to Novak Djokovic.
Two operations on his right knee had kept the Swiss out for the rest of last season, forcing him to give up even the Australian Open (2021) for the first time in the last 23 editions. The 39-year-old from Basel ruled Dan Evans on his Qatar debut but then surrendered in the quarterfinals to future winner Nikoloz Basilashvili, wasting a match point in the deciding set.
Aware of still having to improve a lot in terms of physical strength, King Roger opted for a further training block by giving up the tournaments in Dubai and Miami. His clay debut could take place in Madrid in the first week of May, as his name appears in the entry list of the second Masters 1000 on red.
In a recent interview with Tennis Actu, Jean-René Lisnard admitted that he was impressed by Federer's level of play after such a prolonged absence.
Lisnard on Roger Federer
"Roger Federer has surprised me so much over the years.
I would find it hard to believe that he is still winning anything. By dint of stopping for a long time, it becomes very hard. But, at the same time, when you see the level of his first round against Dan Evans in Dubai... When you stop 18 months, I know what it is and the level he showed is exceptional.
He has that in him the guy. 'He's ready mentally and physically, winning a big title maybe not impossible. When you have few benchmarks, it's tough. The Wimbledon dream holds up. Who could not put Federer's potential winner? a Grand Slam? Apart from a madman...
For me, he is not among the favorites. You have seasoned guys who train every day. On a Grand Slam in 5 sets, we know the difficulty on the fortnight" - Jean-René Lisnard stated. The triumvirate of tennis has distinguished itself from the rest of the tennis world for the last two decades.
But the separation further prolongs between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic unquestionably reign an era of tennis excellency. Also, it is only from far away that any player can match their contribution to the sport. However, weighing the three among each other has become a strenuous job with no plausible result.