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No fireworks for Wimbledon

The 4th July, American Independence Day, is very different this year, and with no Championships at Wimbledon due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no fireworks and fans must get their tennis fix virtually.

Zverev could be banned

It has been asked on many an occasion over the past few weeks – what punishment will be handed down on those who break the Covid-19 safety regulations at a tournament?

US and French Opens to allow spectators

The decision by the USTA and FFT to allow a limited number of spectators to their respective events comes as a bit of a surprise bearing in mind the disastrous Adria Tour mini-series where the Covid-19 spiked followed the disregard of safety protocols.

Wimbledon strawberries for NHS birthday celebrations

Ahead of the NHS’s 72nd birthday celebrations, the AELTC is saying thank you with a donation of 200 punnets of Wimbledon strawberries per day to NHS staff and frontline workers in London.

The men play for Wimbledon’s pineapple

They make their appearances over the final weekend of The Championships and are highly prized - the five Wimbledon Trophies, one of which proudly displays an unlikely pineapple on the top - but, sadly, will not be on show this year.

Serbian Prime Minister, Gomez and Tipsarevic enter the debate

The fall out of the Adria Tour continues as many struggle to find someone to lay the blame on. In the main that someone is Novak Djokovic who led the campaign for this mini circuit and as it has been repeatedly said, his intentions were good and it had the backing of...

Watson joins Progress Tour Women’s Championships field

Heather Watson has accepted a wildcard and will compete alongside GB Fed Cup teammates Harriet Dart and Katie Boulter at next month’s £30,000 Progress Tour Women’s Championships at the National Tennis Centre.

Wimbledon’s green grass of home

The courts at Wimbledon are lush and green but absent are the world’s best players, who should be completing the first round of matches today had The Championships not been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s the ‘doughnut’ versus the ‘rat’

Nick Kyrgios and Boris Becker have got themselves embroiled in a major bust-up over Alexander Zverev’s recent escapade, namely caught on video partying after the cancellation of the Adria Tour which left a number of players and staff testing positive for the Covid-19...

Murray Trophy – Glasgow 2020 postponed

The Murray Trophy, an ATP Challenger tournament scheduled for 13-20 September at the Scotstoun Leisure Centre in Glasgow, has been postponed until 2021 due to the enforced suspension of professional tennis because of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent...
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Federer will be missed

Good news. The tours are set to return following their suspension forced by the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the US Open is confirmed, albeit behind closed doors. Now the USTA is hoping the top players will cast aside their concerns and sign up, but unfortunately one won’t be making an appearance.

I will be missing my fans and the tour dearly but I will look forward to seeing everyone back on tour at the start of the 2021 season Roger Federer

To the disappointment of his fans, Roger Federer, who claimed the title over five consecutive years between 2004-08 and reached the final in 2015, has undergone a couple of knee operations over a couple of months and as a consequence, decided to opt out of the rest of the year to recover fully for the 2021 season.

And while many may feel it doesn’t augur well for the future, he remains optimistic, tweeting: “I plan to take the necessary time to be 100 percent ready to play at my highest level.”

One certainly shouldn’t write him off. The last time he took a six-month lay-off he came back to immediately claim the Australian Open in 2017 and going on to win his eighth Wimbledon title some six months later.

Back then he was 35. When he returns this time, he will be 39 careering fast towards his 40th in August.

Even his most loyal fans must realise that he is entering the twilight zone of his illustrious playing career despite being currently ranked four in the world to remain a dangerous opponent.

So, what motivates him? It’s certainly not money – he’s amassed a fortune in both prizemoney and sponsorship deals – last month he topped Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-earning athlete. His status in the game? That is already assured as a GOAT.

Notwithstanding his position within the sport, there is one thing missing from his list of achievements. He doesn’t have an Olympic Gold medal in singles which Andy Murray prevented him from claiming in London 2012.
Next year’s Tokyo Games – postponed from this year by the pandemic – is surely his last chance of achieving that goal, though he can still show off a gold for the doubles title he won with Stan Wawrinka four years earlier.

Meanwhile he is trying to hold back Rafa Nadal’s and Novak Djokovic’s assault on his record of 20 single grand slam titles. In his absence Nadal could well equal if not pull ahead if he successfully defends both his US Open and Roland Garros titles in August and September, the latter having been rescheduled from May.

Meanwhile Djokovic, on 17, is favourite to win the US Open so he could draw closer to the tally to add more pressure on the Swiss.

Federer’s hopes of improving that record would have been Wimbledon which was cancelled for the first time in its history. That decision left Federer ‘devastated’ having the previous year failed to convert two match point he held on his own serve against Djokovic.

His best chance of adding to his grand slam collection remains on those grass courts of the AELTC but one shouldn’t ignore the Australian Open which brought up his 20th when he defended it in 2018 – this year he reached the last four in Melbourne, the only event he played this season.

He has another record in his sights which is currently held by Jimmy Connors, namely the 109 tournament titles the American achieved during his own illustrious career. He just needs seven more to take over that record.
Will all that prove enough motivation? It should but time is running out.

His popularity remains immense and it will be a great loss to the sport when he does eventually hang up his racket. His elegance and eloquence will also be sorely missed as his last appearance on court, a charity match against rival Nadal in Capetown last February attracting 52,000 spectators, attests.

Of all the great players over the years, Roger Federer is without doubt, the best ambassador the game has ever produced and knees permitting, he will be back.

“I will be missing my fans and the tour dearly but I will look forward to seeing everyone back on tour at the start of the 2021 season,” he tweeted.

Nevertheless everything does eventually come to an end and his legion of fans as well as the sport itself, will have to get used to that fact when that moment does arrive.

In the interim the US Open this year will take place without him.






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1 Comment

  1. Kerry Grace

    He’d be missing his fans even if he was playing this year… There won’t be any!!!

    Reply

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