Roger Federer fans will be shocked to learn that their idol hinted during a sports award ceremony that his career might well come to an end next year.
I would have hoped that I would be 100 per cent [fit] in October. But I am still not today, It will be tight for the Australian Open. Roger Federer
Speaking at the Swiss Sports Awards, Federer admitted that he hadn’t yet fully recovered full fitness following the two knee surgeries which has kept him out of the competitive arena since his 2020 Australian semi-final defeat at the hands of Novak Djokovic.
As a result, Federer, who will be celebrating his 40th birthday next August, is unsure whether he will in fact return to the competitive arena at next year’s Aussie Open which is due to kick off mid-January though there is talk – due to Covid-19 concerns – it could be postponed by three weeks to February 8.
“I would have hoped that I would be 100 per cent [fit] in October. But I am still not today,” the Swiss icon said. “It will be tight for the Australian Open.
“The second knee operation was a huge damper, but in the last six months there has been steady progress.
“Let’s see how the next two months will unfold. I’ve been doing a lot of physio and physical work lately, now let’s see how tennis is doing.”
The possible delay could work to his advantage.
“It will be complicated for the Australian Open. I don’t want to take the next step until I’m ready. These three weeks could help me a bit.”
“I’m curious to see whether it will start on Feb 8,” Federer, who has won the title there six times, said.
“Of course, it would help if I had a bit more time.”
The 20-time grand slam champion has been practising over recent weeks to resume his career in Australia, much like he did back in 2016 when knee problems also side-lined him for some six months to miss the Olympics and the US Open before returning in 2017 to win the Australian Open.
Should he travel to Melbourne he will not be accompanied by his family because of the quarantine arrangements.
On the night he was voted the best Swiss athlete since 1950, Federer even went as far as to suggest he may not be able to return at all.
“I hope there is still something to see from me next year. But if that was it, that would have been an incredible ending for me at these Sports Awards.”