He might be missing out on the Australian Open next week due to his knee injury, but Federer has rubbished retirement talk - and has even put forward a return date for himself.
When Andy Murray lost to Federer in the 2021 Wimbledon Final, he said “Roger’s 30 now”, indicating that his over-the-hill age should’ve given Murray the upper hand. Murray was, of course, joshing around, but little did he know that almost a decade later Federer would still be marching on in the year of his 40th birthday, while Murray himself is languishing on the tennis fringes after an injury-plagued few years.
Federer hasn’t made a Grand Slam appearance since the 2020 Australian open due to a persistent knee injury. In that time, he’s had to undergo two rounds of surgery - and with the injury still persisting, he had to make the tough decision to pull out of this year’s Australian open.
Even for a certified beast of the sporting world, it’s fair to say that a great many experts, ourselves included, had begun to write off any hopes of a Federer return - with the announcement back in December that he was pulling out of the Australian Open all but cementing suspicions. How silly we all were!
Speaking for the first time since December, Federer was quick to silence any form of retirement talk, claiming he only pulled out of the Australian open due to the recovery time being slightly slower than expected. Despite the slow recovery time, the Swiss marvel hasn’t experienced any setbacks or blips on te road to recovery, and has stated with confidence that we can expect to see him play at the Qatar Open in early March.
Federer’s announcement of a Mach return date this week was not a knee jerk reaction (if you’ll pardon us the pun - fully intended by the way) to the media’s talk of his retirement. In his statement, Feder said that he has been “thinking about when and where to come back for a long time.” He did say that he had initially eyed up the Australian open for his return, but in the end felt that it would be “too early” due to his knee injury.
He claimed to be “hurt’ when deciding not to appear at the Australian open, as it’s one of his favourite places to play. However in the end, he decided it was better to return to a smaller tournament, with less media focus on himself and therefore a less stressful environment as he eases his way back into the game he’s dominated for so many years.
Will we see a 40 year old Federer playing in the Australian Open 2022? We’re already putting our money on it here at CaptainGambling!
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