scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Roger Federer feels his story is unfinished, eyes full fitness by Wimbledon

Roger Federer, tied with Rafael Nadal on a record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, has not played a competitive match since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semi-finals in 2020.

By: Reuters |
March 8, 2021 9:33:50 am
Roger Federer has won eight Wimbledons, six Australian Opens, five US Opens, and one French Open in his career. (File)

Roger Federer never contemplated retirement as he spent 13 months on the sidelines due to double knee surgery last year and the 39-year-old says he is now pain-free and ready to play again with a feeling that his story is not over yet.

Federer, tied with Rafa Nadal on a record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, has not played a competitive match since losing to world number one Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semi-finals in 2020.

The Swiss maestro will make his highly-anticipated return at this week’s Qatar Open, where he is seeded behind U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem.

The Swiss has a bye in the first round in Doha, where he is a three-time winner, and his return match will either be on Tuesday or Wednesday against Briton Dan Evans or Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.

“It’s just about ‘Let’s see how matches go, let’s see how training goes with all the top guys and professional players, not just sparring partners’,” he said, adding that he has not decided his schedule beyond this week.

“I was playing a lot of two-on-ones the last few months and so forth. I know I need to go back to training after here again so from this standpoint it’s just about building up to being stronger, better, fitter, faster and all that stuff.

WIMBLEDON TARGET

“I hope then by Wimbledon I’m going to be 100% and that’s when the season starts for me. Everything until then it’s just ‘Let’s see how it goes’, he added of the championships starting on June 28, which were cancelled last year due to COVID-19.

“I might surprise myself but then actually I’ve already done in practice the last few weeks, I was surprised at actually how well it did go. But like we know, matches are a different animal.”

The Swiss proved that he can quickly get back into his groove when he won the 2017 Australian Open despite missing the second half of the 2016 season because of knee surgery.

READ | How the ageless ‘Big Three’ continue their dominance in tennis

Federer said he keenly kept track of results on the ATP Tour as he worked his way back to fitness and the complications after his first knee procedure motivated him to return healthy.

“Retirement was never really on the cards. I think it’s more of a conversation if the knee keeps bothering me for months and months – then let’s look at it,” he said. “I just feel like the story is not over.

“It’s not like there’s one particular reason that I wanted to keep playing tennis other than I enjoyed playing tennis, I enjoy being on the road.

“I’m still a work in progress but probably one of the other reasons for coming back is I want to get that high again of playing against the biggest players and in the biggest tournaments and hopefully winning them again,” he added.

“Hopefully I can play in front of crowds again.”

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Sports News, download Indian Express App.

  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
x