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He did it in 2017, he can do it again: Patrick McEnroe on Roger Federer's Slam chances

  • Patrick McEnroe believes Roger Federer, who is out due to a knee injury, can win another Slam after returning in 2021.
  • McEnroe recalled how Federer returned from injury in 2017 to win both the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles.
Namit Kumar
Modified 26 Jun 2020, 23:40 IST
Rafael Nadal (L) and Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal (L) and Roger Federer

Roger Federer shocked the entire tennis community by announcing that he wouldn't be playing the rest of the 2020 season due to a right knee injury. He now plans to return in 2021, and Patrick McEnroe believes the Swiss could well continue right where he left off.

The World No. 4 had already gone through extensive treatment on his right knee, which forced him to skip the entire period between the Australian Open and Wimbledon. But after tennis was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 20-time Grand Slam champion confirmed that he had undergone another surgery on his knee - which would necessitate sitting out the remainder of the year too.

Members of his coaching staff later revealed that the rehabilitation from his first surgery didn't go as planned.

As expected with a player of Roger Federer's age, speculation is rife about his retirement - and whether or not he will be able to return to tennis at a competitive level. Federer last played against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, in a straight sets loss at the Australian Open, and he didn't look good there.

The Serb also famously beat Federer in a five-set Wimbledon 2019 final, where the World No. 4 had double match point for a record-extending ninth trophy at SW19.

The GOAT (Greatest of All Time) debate has consumed tennis fans all over the world lately, as both Rafael Nadal (19) and Novak Djokovic (17) are hot on the tails of Roger Federer's Grand Slam record. However, many experts are of the opinion that Federer will be back and even has a chance of winning that elusive 21st Grand Slam.

One such expert is ESPN analyst Patrick McEnroe, who talked up Federer's chances by recalling what the Swiss maestro had done in 2017 after returning from injury.

I think he can: Patrick McEnroe on Roger Federer adding a 21st Grand Slam title to his tally

Roger Federer (L) and Novak Djokovic
Roger Federer (L) and Novak Djokovic

As reported by Forbes, McEnroe believes Roger Federer has the ability to pick up trophies, win Slams and contend for the World No. 1 spot after returning from injury.

“I think he can, I think he can,” said McEnroe. "We’ve been saying this for five, six years, it’s not going to get any easier."

Looking back at Roger Federer's landmark 2017 campaign - where he finished 2nd in the world rankings and picked up both the Australian Open title and the Wimbledon trophy - McEnroe said:

"He pulled the rabbit out of his hat. Well, he did more than that the last time he came back [in 2017], winning at the Australian and then winning Wimbledon again. So 39, he’s had some time off, he came back refreshed last time, can he do it again? He’s Roger Federer, so I’m not going to say he can’t.
“I’m not going to guarantee he’ll win another one but i’m not going to say (the reverse either). We’ve already said before he’ll never win another one and then he won a couple more so let’s hope he can come back and go out with another year or so playing well and being able to be in the mix. That would be great to see,” said McEnroe.

The conversation about the Swiss maestro's return has risen after Novak Djokovic's father Srdjan's controversial remarks about Roger Federer's age, stature and relationship with his son.

Published 26 Jun 2020, 22:17 IST
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