Many were anxiously awaiting a return of Roger Federer starting from the 2021 edition of the Australian Open, especially after the images of the Swiss champion training in the Middle East, but then - also due to the restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic - King Roger he made it known to skip the usual appointment at the beginning of the year, postponing his return to the spring months.
Thus, Federer took part in the ATP 250 of Qatar ExxonMobil in Doha, where he returned to show flashes of timeless talent first against Daniel Evans and then with the Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, even if he was defeated in the second match.
Absent on the Tour since the Qatari appointment (he did not participate in Dubai), Roger should return to compete in his Geneva and then at Roland Garros in Paris, where he played in the semifinal in 2019. In the past few hours, Globi - the famous blue parrot created as a comic in 1932 by the Swiss Robert Lips and later turned into an illustrated book - has published its 92nd edition, entitled 'Globi and Roger'
In his latest adventure, the bird plays tennis with Federer, follows him to Wimbledon and together they visit a school in Africa. Curious to see Federer illustrated in his classic elegant suit, including a bandana. His wife Mirka and his two pairs of twins, born in 2009 and 2014, are also briefly present in the book.
Roger took an active part in the creation of the new edition, offering his collaboration for the design phase and writing the preface. The volume, now available in German, French and English, also features a CD audiobook. Federer will have to defend the sensational final played at Wimbledon two years ago, lost with two match points in favor of his serve against Serbian Novak Djokovic, champion in Melbourne for the ninth time last February.
Against that background, Tennis Channel recently invited four-time Major winner Jim Courier and 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick to discuss Roger Federer's prospects in the clay season. The panel host Steve Weissman first cited the words of Federer's long-time coach Severin Luthi, who believes that his ward is still lagging in terms of match fitness.
Courier opens up on Roger Federer
"If you're a Roger Federer fan, which most of us are, fitness is going to be the biggest factor for him going forward because he won't lose his artistry with the racket," Jim Courier said.
"He just might not be in position to hit many great shots if his fitness isn't there. If we're concerned about the fitness also, what kind of fitness questions are they? Is it the question of health, is it whether he's behind in cardio and working for best-of-five..." Courier said.
"Well, we don't have that info. But it's worrisome, no doubt about it." The American also surmised that Federer was playing clay to test whether his body could make a transition from clay to grass without any setbacks. "All of this clay is just a preamble to the main course, which is the grasscourt season," Courier said.
"That's what he's trying to get ready for Andy, I don't know if he's that concerned about results much as how does his body come out of clay and into the grass."