Roger Federer took to social media on Saturday with an important health update. Unfortunately for his fans, Federer revealed that he has to undergo another surgery on his right knee, which would keep him off court for "many months".
The announcement by Federer, who has already undergone three knee surgeries in the past, has thrown the tennis world into a bit of a frenzy. Fans as well as experts and former players have been trying to gauge the larger picture concerning the 40-year-old's future in the sport.
Former World No. 1 Andy Roddick is the latest to comment on Roger Federer's unhappy news. Speaking to the Tennis Channel on the sidelines of the National Bank Open, Roddick claimed that a comeback following a fourth knee surgery would be an "uphill battle" for the Swiss.
"He's aware of what he was coming back from after these previous knee surgeries," Roddick said. "He wasn't moving that well, he was a shadow of what we know as Roger."
"To add another knee surgery to that and to have him come back with that losy time, obviously, he knows it is going to be an uphill battle," he added.
Roddick further expressed how "horrible" it was to watch one of the sport's best players struggle physically. But he added that he was hopeful Federer would still be able to come back and say goodbye to the sport on "his own terms".
"We need patience," Roddick said. "It's horrible to see the icons of the game to go out because their bodies give out. I personally hope that he can come back and leave on his own terms."
"I don't care if he's as good as he once was, that's unimportant to me at this point," the American added. "What's important is that he gets the goodbye that he wants."
"The guy has gotten to 40 and his body has been amazing" - Andy Roddick on Roger Federer's commitment to fitness
Andy Roddick went on to highlight Roger Federer's commitment to his fitness, pointing out that the Swiss has never retired from a match in his long career.
"Let's also face the fact that the guy has reached 40, and his body has been amazing to this point," Roddick said. "And one other thing that needs to be mentioned, and it's one of the most amazing stats in sporting history, he has never retired from a match."
The American also mentioned how Roger Federer refused to retire in his Wimbledon quarterfinal against Hubert Hurkacz despite getting hammered in the third set. Roddick believes Federer played the match out because he wanted Hurkacz to have his moment.
"We think about Hurkacz, Federer taking a beating 6-0 in the third," Roddick said. "When you have the ego of one of the all-time greats, but yet you're not going to take away that moment from someone else, that deserves respect."
Roger Federer had earlier been tight-lipped on his participation at the US Open, which is scheduled to be played later this month. His announcement, however, has effectively ruled him out of playing for the remainder of the 2021 season.