Former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro recently spoke with Argentine daily La Nacion about Roger Federer's return to the tour from a year-long layoff. Del Potro, who is himself recovering from a serious knee injury, believes that Federer's comeback from double arthroscopic knee surgery is an example for everyone.
The Argentine added that watching Roger Federer swing his magic wand again in Doha gave him and the entire tennis world immense joy.
"Roger Federer is an example for everyone," Juan Martin Del Potro said. "To watch him playing again is a pleasure for the entire world of tennis."
Roger Federer's comeback in Doha was short-lived, as he suffered a three-set loss to Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarterfinals. And during his post-match press conference, Federer was informed about Juan Martin del Potro's eagerness to return to the tour in 2021.
In response, the Swiss expressed his happiness at the possible comeback of Del Potro, with whom he shares a good equation off the court. But Federer also let out a word of caution, suggesting that the Argentine should take his time given the seriousness of his injury.
"Look, I'm happy he said that," Federer said. "I haven't heard about it. I wish that Juan Martin can come back onto the tour like I did now. I know he has to take the time because everything he went through is even bigger than what I went through."
The generational change will happen when Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic & Rafael Nadal are unable to face the younger guys: Juan Martin del Potro
Juan Martin del Potro, during his interview, also gave his thoughts on the Next Gen players, who have been trying to take over the tour for years now. The Argentine cited the 2020 US Open as an example, which saw Dominic Thiem take home his maiden Grand Slam.
But Del Potro also highlighted Novak Djokovic's disqualification for hitting a lineswoman in his fourth-round match, which he believes played a role in the eventual result. According to the Argentine, the youngsters will be able to bridge the gap between themselves and the likes of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal only when the latter three get even older.
"The new players are coming up," Juan Martin del Potro said. "But, aside from the US Open where Novak Djokovic made a mistake, the Grand Slams are still won by the same players. The generational change will happen when the best players in the world will be unable to face the younger guys."