Joaquin Heredia, Sports, The Pawprint
Microscopic knee surgery sidelined Roger Federer for the beginning of 2020 up until March 2021. The global pandemic aided the Swiss in his recovery, as the Tennis tour was suspended for a majority of the year, effectively freezing the rankings and securing Feders spot as World Number 4 until the resumption of tennis in late 2020.
Roger is now 39 years old and will play the Olympics at 40. This raises the question of how much longer can the Swiss actually compete at the highest level, and against some of the world’s top competitors. Some are nearly half his age. Despite no hints of retirement from Federer, many see this as his last tennis season. The 20 time Grand Slam champion will without a doubt be at the top of his game, specifically in this year’s Grand Slams and the Olympics.
At the beginning of 2021, Fededer finally made his highly anticipated return in Doha, after more than a year away from the tour where to everyone’s surprise he lost in the second round. Following this, Fed decided to take a few more weeks away from competition, and focus more on practice for the upcoming clay season. The Maestro was confirmed to play one clay court tournament, Geneva, in the build up to Roland Garros, but once again fans were surprised when Roger lost handedly against world number 68, Pablo Andujar in only the first round.
With the French Open a week away, Federer has only won at Roland Garros once, and has expressed his desire for one more to complete a Double Career Grand Slam (win all Grand Slams twice each in your career). Clay is the Swiss’s least preferred surface, however we would not be surprised to see Roger do something incredible in potentially his last ever French Open.
Regardless of what happens in the French, Roger has the Grass season to look forward to. Grass season starts directly after clay season and features the tournaments Roger has performed the best at, such as Halle and of course, Wimbledon. Roger has expressed his excitement for this year’s Wimbledon Championships, and how he will guarantee he is 100% of himself when the tournament arrives. Federer has won 8 times at Wimbledon, but came so close in 2019 that he must be itching to get another shot.
I know what you’re thinking, “ Wimbledon is his last chance to win a Grand Slam”, but that is not the case. Federer has won the US Open 5 times, which is played at the end of the year. Hard court suits his game and conditions in Flushing Meadows also favor the Swiss. However, when Wimbledon ends Roger won’t be thinking about the US Open, he will be thinking about the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in July-August.
Winning gold at the Olympics is one of the most difficult feats to accomplish in any sport. The Olympics only come around every 4 years so you only get a few chances until your career is over. Federer has never won a gold medal in singles tennis, coming close in 2012 where he won silver against Andy Murry in London. A Gold Medal is all that evades Roger, and as the tournament is played in best of 3 sets format and on hard court, his chances cannot be ignored.