Switzerland's Fed Cup captain Heinz Gunthardt believes we have not seen the last of Roger Federer on a tennis court. According to Gunthardt, Federer performed quite well in most of his matches following his comeback and, as such, would be motivated to make another return to the tour after his third knee surgery.
Federer announced on Sunday that he would be undergoing a third surgery on his knee after suffering a setback during Wimbledon. He also mentioned that he expects to be sidelined for "many months" after his surgery.
Federer's announcement has led to speculation that the Swiss might call it a day sooner rather than later, given his unending knee concerns. But in a conversation with Blick, Gunthardt said he foresees the 20-time Major champion continuing for a while longer, given how well he played in some of his matches this year.
"He (Roger Federer) came back, ran onto the court and played very well again, in some cases absolutely great," Gunthardt said. "Because things went so well for him, I can imagine that Roger intends to want to repeat that."
Gunthardt believes Federer will return to action even if it's just for exhibition matches or the Laver Cup instead of the ATP Tour.
"I think he will come up again somewhere and hit balls - if not on the ATP Tour, then at a Match for Africa or at the Laver Cup," added Gunthardt.
Despite not being fully match fit, Roger Federer registered a commendable victory over Dan Evans in his comeback match at the Qatar Open. He also beat the likes of Marin Cilic and Dominik Koepfer at Roland Garros.
Federer fared even better at Wimbledon, where he advanced to the quarterfinals before being defeated by Hubert Hurkacz.
"My hope is that I will see Roger Federer play live again" - Heinz Gunthardt
In the context of Roger Federer's third knee surgery, Heinz Gunthardt believes it is wrong to say the Swiss is struggling to let go of his tennis career.
The 62-year-old reckons Federer had no choice but to opt for surgery, adding that the 20-time Major champion would only make a decision on his future when he resumes training next.
"(Roger Federer opting for another surgery has nothing to do with) not being able to let go," Gunthardt said. “It's only difficult when you have a choice to make. At the moment he sees no alternative because of his knee and accepts that."
"On day X, when he is training again and sees whether and how stony the way to a high level will be."
Gunthardt, who serves as a commentator for SRF Sport, also expressed his desire to watch the Swiss legend in action again, albeit this time from the stands and not from the commentator's box.
"My hope is therefore great that I will see Roger play live again," Gunthardt said. "And as a tennis fan, in the stadium, without the glass of the TV cabin in between!"