Federer, widely regarded as one of the best players in tennis history, hasn't played a competitive match since Wimbledon last year. The 40-year-old underwent a third knee surgery a few months ago, but his recovery has been slower than anticipated.
Roger Federer won the last of his 20 Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open four years ago. He was on the cusp of a 21st two years later, but he failed to convert two championship points on serve before going down to Novak Djokovic in the 2019 Wimbledon final.
Federer's last title on the ATP tour - his 103rd - came at Basel that year.
In an interaction with CLAY, Gonzalez said that it would be tough for Federer to add to his Major tally, especially after a long hiatus. The Chilean, however, added that Federer still has the level to cause some damage in the best-of-three sets format.
"It will be hard for him," said Gonzalez. "I don't know if he is going to be able to win a Grand Slam, but in three-set tournaments, I think he will do something interesting. He will want to say goodbye at some point, but if he comes back, I think he will go for something important, with the level he has. I don't know how he will be for five sets, but for three, he has to play a while longer."
Federer is expected to make his comeback at the Laver Cup next month, following which he will also feature in his home tournament in Basel. He has yet to confirm his participation at the US Open.
Roger Federer has fallen to 3rd in all-time men's singles Major titles leaderboard
Roger Federer is currently enduring one of the longest Major title droughts of his illustrious career. The soon-to-be 41-year-old has gone four-and-a-half years without a Grand Slam title.
Since then, his Big 3 peers - Rafael Nadal (6) and Djokovic (8) - have caught up with and surpassed the Swiss legend on the all-time Major leaderboard. Nadal (22) and Djokovic (21) are now both ahead of Federer.
Nadal moved level with Federer by winning his 13th Roland Garros title in 2020, while Djokovic did so by triumphing for the sixth time at Wimbledon last year. Since then, Nadal has won two more titles - the Australian Open and Roland Garros this year - while Djokovic won his seventh Wimbledon two weeks ago to move clear of Federer.