'Clay is no longer really his Roger Federer's goal', says ATP star

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'Clay is no longer really his Roger Federer's goal', says ATP star

Many are wondering if 2021 will be Roger Federer's last season before hanging up the racket. The Swiss phenomenon has been almost totally absent from the circuit in the last year and a half, mainly thanks to a couple of surgeries on his right knee carried out in 2020.

The former number 1 in the world has remained in the Top 10 only thanks to the new system of ranking, which facilitated it by arousing some criticism from insiders. The 20-time Grand Slam champion will play Roland Garros later this month, but it's no secret that his main goals will be Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics in the summer.

Over the past twelve months, King Roger has had to cash in on his eternal rival Rafael Nadal in the all-time rankings of the majors and overtaking Novak Djokovic in the statistics of the weeks spent at number 1 ATP. In a long interview granted to L’Equipe, the French veteran Gilles Simon analyzed the situation that the Big 3 are experiencing, focusing first of all on the 39-year-old from Basel.

Simon opens up on Roger Federer

"Clay is no longer really his (Roger Federer's) goal," Gilles Simon said. "I don't think Roland Garros is the Grand Slam tournament he most wants to win right now. He plays on clay to hope to win matches, polish his physique and bring it all to the grass."

Gilles Simon also claimed that if Roger Federer somehow manages to go all the way in Paris, the exertion could turn out to be "painful" for him given his age. "There it will be more painful," Simon said.

"The Grand Slam he has in mind is Wimbledon. Roland Garros is part of the plan." During the interaction, Gilles Simon also spoke about the cut-throat rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The two giants clashed against each other in the final of the Italian Open on Sunday, with Nadal winning 7-5, 1-6, 6-3.

"The margin is shrinking, their level of play has dropped a little with the constraints of age, but they still reach the final," Simon said. "I found Nadal and Djokovic less efficient than a few years ago. They have less margin, they are more and more hooked by increasingly different players, they have fewer and fewer quiet matches, but ...

it holds! This is where you see they are strong," Simon said. The Geneva Open 2021 is well underway, and it is Swiss tennis superstar Roger Federer who is grabbing all the headlines. He played his first match of the tournament today against Spanish player Pablo Andujar.

Much to the Grand Slam champ’s disappointment, the Spaniard won the match 6-4 4-6 6-4 in close to two hours.