Former world no. 2 and the Roland Garros finalist Alex Corretja wasn't impressed with what he saw from Roger Federer in Halle. Competing on his beloved grass for the first time in two years, Roger beat Ilya Ivashka in the first round and took the opening set against Felix Auger-Aliassime before fading from the court.
Thus, Roger failed to reach the Halle quarter-final for the first time in 18 trips to Germany and will compete at Wimbledon with only eight matches in his legs in the past 17 months. Following two knee surgeries and the most extended break of his career, Federer is yet to find his A-game, withdrawing from Roland Garros after three wins and hoping to chase titles in Halle and Wimbledon.
The Swiss will have to wait until 2022 to battle for the ATP 500 crown in Germany, as Auger-Aliassime outplayed him completely in sets two and three. Corretja was worried about Roger's body language, and he thinks that Roger feels the same about his tennis at the moment.
After only four tournaments since February 2020, Federer will try to reset his game at the All England Club, where he wasted two match points against Novak Djokovic in the final two years ago.
Roger Federer struggled in his first event on grass in Halle.
"I was more worried about Roger's body language a bit.
He was, I think, inside himself. He's the only one who knows how he feels; sometimes, it's not about complaining. It's like when you play, and you think inside, 'this is not how I want to feel.' I think Roger feels a bit that way right now.
It's not that his attitude was not good, but it showed a bit of worry on his face; you don't see that often in Roger's case. I'm concerned he doesn't feel 100% on his knee because it's expected that his movement is still not the best.
Probably he needs some more time. Is it going to be enough to be perfect for Wimbledon? He needs an excellent first week to get the rhythm he needs to become a contender in the second. If he gets the rhythm that he needs, he's going to be very dangerous.
Still, many players can hurt him right now, and that list was much shorter in the past. It makes us realize how difficult it is to come back after a significant injury. How difficult is it to come back at 39? Everything that comes for Roger from now on would be a gift, especially for people who love tennis.
We can just say, 'OK, play as good as you can, and then we will support you because you have given us so much.' If Roger sees that he is ready to come back to his best level, he will continue. On the other hand, if he can't reach the level good enough to fight for Majors, I don't think he will continue," Alex Corretja said.