24 Nov 2021 | 08:36
After nearly 20 years atop the game, Roger Federer is coming to terms with his tennis mortality. The 40-year-old announced he’ll be unable to compete in January’s Australian Open and would be “incredibly surprised” to return in time for Wimbledon in 2022.
Federer is recovering from August knee surgery, his third procedure in a year and a half. His last appearance was a quarterfinal loss to Hubert Hurkacz in July’s Wimbledon quarterfinal. The Swiss star announced he would undergo his most recent surgery a month after Wimbledon, hoping it would give his return to the tour a “glimmer of hope.”
In an interview with Tribune de Genève, Federer outlined what his ideal return would look like — and admitted it won’t be a lengthy one.
“Even if I know that the end is near, I want to try and play some more big matches,” Federer said. “That will not be easy, but I want to try.
“Let’s be clear: My life is not going to fall apart if I don’t play another Grand Slam final,” added Federer, who underwent two right knee surgeries within five months in 2020. “But that would be the ultimate dream — to get back there. I want to see one last time what I’m capable of as a professional tennis player.”