Roger Federer turned 40 years-old a few days ago, receiving tons of messages from friends and colleagues. The rest of the Swiss's career hangs by a thread, as his knee continues to give him many problems despite the two operations he underwent in 2020.
Suffice it to say that the former world number 1 has played only five tournaments since his return to the tour, with the quarter-finals achieved at Wimbledon as the best result. The 20-time Grand Slam champion had to give up the Tokyo Olympics due to a relapse in his operated knee, a very hard blow for King Roger who was chasing the gold medal in singles.
Shortly thereafter, news broke that Federer would also miss the Masters 1000 in Toronto and Cincinnati. In the absence of further details, his presence at the US Open is far from certain. Meanwhile, former Roland Garros champion Adriano Panatta wrote a beautiful letter to Federer on the occasion of his 40th birthday.
Panatta was the last Italian to win a Grand Slam (the French Open in 1976), a feat that allowed him to rise to number 4 ATP.
Panatta pays tribute to Roger Federer
"Dear Roger Federer, I wish you the best for your 40th birthday," wrote Panatta in the letter published in La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I don't remember exactly when I first saw you play, but I immediately got the impression that you were a different player from everyone else. It was not difficult to predict that you would become a unique, inimitable tennis player, perhaps the strongest player ever, certainly the one who plays best," he continued.
Adriano then told a funny anecdote: "During the Internazionali d’Italia 2009, we went to eat a carbonara together in Trastevere. At one point, Roger told me that he would gladly trade his Wimbledon titles for my Roland Garros.
I replied that I would do the same with him. That dinner brought him luck, since a few months later he managed to establish himself in Paris."