Roger Federer was due to play his last Olympics in Tokyo, after the event was postponed last year due to the outbreak of the global pandemic. Amid a thousand controversies and uncertainties, the five-circle event kicked off a few days ago, albeit in a very different atmosphere from what we were used to in past editions of the Games.
The former world number 1 had made no secret of his desire to wear gold in singles, a task that seemed facilitated by the numerous forfeits that characterized the eve. Shortly after his elimination in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, the Swiss champion announced that he had suffered a knee relapse that made his presence in Japan impossible.
At the moment, the schedule of the 20-time Grand Slam champion is unclear, who hopes to return to the field by the end of the summer. Speaking to the media after beating Misaki Doi on Monday, Belinda Bencic - who was supposed to play the mixed doubles with King Roger - revealed that the 39-years-old from Basel is following his countrymen and countrywomen with great attention.
Federer suffered a knee relapse
Belinda said: "Roger Federer is not wasting a minute of these Olympics. He knows perfectly well what is happening and how things are going for Switzerland. He sent a message to me and Viktorija Golubic after our debut in doubles, so he is very attentive to every single match."
iven the absences of Federer and Wawrinka, expectations on Bencic have risen further. Belinda has responded very well so far, having just knocked out Roland Garros champion Krejcikova. The former wolrd no. 4 said: "The Swiss have been accustomed well over the past 15 years, it is normal that they expect something important from me here in Tokyo.
I am really proud to be able to represent my country in such a unique event as the Olympics. I never imagined becoming one of the top athletes in the Swiss selection. I don't see it as a reason for pressure, but as a privilege."