Roger Federer's long-awaited 2022 comeback has some serious question marks against it. The Swiss, who has played just four tournaments since the 2020 Australian Open, has been missing from action since Wimbledon this year due to a recurring knee injury.
The 40-year-old will not be playing at the Australian Open this year, and he recently revealed that he is likely to miss Wimbledon too.
Against that context, while speaking at the Champions Tennis exhibition, former World No. 4 Tomas Berdych said that Federer will be thinking about playing his last tournament for his fans, but he does not need to prove anything to anybody.
"He (Roger Federer) maybe wants to come back on court and maybe make the call and whether he's going to play his last tournament, for his huge fan base around the world, but if he doesn't it's fine," Berdych told Reuters. "He has nothing to prove so it's down to him how he feels and how he wants to do it at the end of the day."
The Czech player, who retired two years ago at the age of 34, said the 20-time Grand Slam champion must be mentally prepared to play his final match on tour. He added that Roger Federer's return will not be easy with the younger generation of players gaining confidence and momentum recently.
"He's going to try to prepare himself as best as possible and he's experienced enough to know that it won't happen at one tournament," he said. "But, without matches and being 40 years old, it'll be very difficult to judge your level. If you are in the middle of your career and you get injured for six months and you do a good preparation basically you know what's going to happen when you start to play."
"But I think in this situation he needs to be mentally ready to know that it could be just one match, even if he's done everything possible. It's not easy and then the young guys will be there and won't give him any favours."
2021 French Open showed the passion Roger Federer still has for the game: Mark Philippousis
Former Australia No. 1 Mark Philippousis also weighed in on Roger Federer's future following the Champions Tennis event. The Aussie said that Federer is doing the right thing by refusing to rush his comeback.
"This is the first time he (Roger Federer) has struggled with injuries and had surgeries and that's a different story, especially with the knees," Philippousis said. "But he's doing the right thing, he can't rush this."
Philippousis added that watching Federer play long, grueling matches at the 2021 Roland Garros in front of empty stands showed the Swiss's passion for the game.
"Can he come back? The biggest thing for me was watching him at the French Open where there were no crowds -- he's playing five sets [two four-set matches back-to-back], he's fighting, he's pumping his fists. That shows how much he loves the game. The passion he still has for the game is incredible," he said.
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