World No. 4 Roger Federer has been away from the court for a long time. While there is no doubt a pandemic going on, the Swiss has been affected even more by the two surgeries he has had to undergo on his right knee - which have ruled him out for the remainder of 2020.
Federer's coach and friend Severin Luthi had recently announced that the 38-year-old's post-surgery rehab was going well and that he would resume training soon. Roger Federer has now gone a step further and given the tennis world a tentative date for his return to full fitness.
Roger Federer and his knee problems
Roger Federer first went under the knife in February for a lingering problem with his right knee. At that point he expected - or rather hoped - to be back in time for Wimbledon. But that was not to be, as the COVID-19 situation developed rapidly into a pandemic, forcing the world into a lockdown.
Then in June, Federer announced that due to a setback he had to undergo a second procedure on the same knee. That sent shockwaves among the tennis fraternity; many began to wonder if Roger Federer would return to tennis at all.
But fitness aside, the Swiss has kept himself very busy since lockdown relaxations were introduced in his country. He recently launched his shoe called ‘The Roger’, in partnership with Swiss sportswear brand ‘On Running’. He was also pictured yesterday in Ticino, where he had gone to film a car commercial for an undisclosed brand.
The filming took place in a closed set, and after that the cast and crew went to an Italian restaurant for lunch. Towards the end of the interaction, Federer gave a brief update to RSI about his physical condition:
“I hope to be in shape by December 1st, or January 1st.”
Federer had also previously admitted that he feels a lot better after the second surgery than he did after the first. These are all good signs, which highlight the steady progress that the Swiss is making in order to be fit for the 2021 Australian Open.
While I can't play, the others can't win: Roger Federer on the new ranking system
The ATP recently announced a new ranking system in order to safeguard the points accumulated by players over the last one year. Most of the top players stand to benefit from the new rules, even if they decide to skip some part of the tour due to health or safety concerns.
Needless to say, the news comes as a huge blessing for Roger Federer, who will be physically unable to accumulate any points over the next few months. Under the new system Federer could be seeded as high as No. 4 at the 2021 Australian Open, as he won't lose points from his highest-earning tournaments.
Roger Federer, who is part of the Player Council that approved the new ranking system, talked about the unusual rules introduced by the ATP and how they affect him:
“For me it hasn’t really changed. The ranking would have been different. The fans are happy because while I can’t play, the others can’t win but for me it doesn’t change much. The only thing is that it allows me to be more relaxed.”Published 09 Jul 2020, 17:31 IST