20-time Major champion Roger Federer recently provided an update on his future while speaking to Tribune de Geneve. Federer confirmed his absence at the 2022 Australian Open but, more shockingly, also cast doubt regarding his participation at Wimbledon next year.
The 40-year-old underwent a third surgery on his knee a couple of months ago after aggravating a pre-existing ailment at Wimbledon this year. Federer had gone under the knife twice in 2020, after which he made a comeback at this year's Qatar Open.
Recently, tennis coach Darren Cahill claimed that Federer had already resumed training and that he would take part in the 2022 Australian Open.
While Cahill admitted to misunderstanding the news shared with him, Federer was asked for more clarity on the topic during his recent interview with Mathieu Aeschmann of Tribune de Geneve.
The Swiss legend rejected the idea of playing in Melbourne and revealed that even Wimbledon, which begins at the end of June, might be a tad too soon for him.
"The truth is, I'd be incredibly surprised to play Wimbledon as well as to say that Australia does not even come into account," Roger Federer said.
However, Federer stressed that the duration of his recovery process is largely on the expected lines. In more positive news, he revealed that his first big check-up with his doctors bore "very encouraging" signs with regards to his knee.
"And that's not surprising," Federer added. "Before the operation it was known that it's nature would require long months of break. So there's nothing new. I wanted to wait for the first big check-up of the doctors to talk about it: it is very encouraging. I have therefore started a long rehabilitation process in which I put my whole heart."
During the interview, Roger Federer highlighted his desire to end his career on his terms. While the Swiss asserted that he plans to give it his all during this ongoing rehabilitation phase, he insisted it would not be the end of the world if he never plays a Grand Slam final again.
“My ambition is to see what I'm capable of one last time," Roger Federer said. "I also wish I could say goodbye in my own way and on a tennis court. That's why I give my all in my rehabilitation. Then let's be clear, my life is not going to collapse if I don't play a Grand Slam final again."
However, Federer believes that playing in a Grand Slam final is the "ultimate dream".
"But it would be the ultimate dream to go back," Federer added. "And in fact, I still believe in it. I believe in these kinds of miracles. ”
The father-of-four said he expects to resume jogging only in January next year, with tennis training not in the works until "March or April". As such, Federer reckons he might return to the tour in the summer of 2022.
“I will be able to resume jogging lightly in January and resume sessions on the court with complex support in March or April,” Federer added. "Today, I therefore estimate my return to competition in the summer of 2022. "
Having said that, Federer hinted that he wouldn't be too concerned if he makes his comeback in 2023.
"Playing again in 2022 or 2023 doesn't make a big difference anymore: 40 or 41, it doesn't matter," Federer added.
"It would have been easy to say 'let’s stop here,' but my fans deserve better" - Roger Federer
Roger Federer made the quarterfinals at Wimbledon this year despite being far from his best physically and tennis-wise. This led several of his fans to believe that their favorite player was still capable of delivering the goods at Majors.
In that context, Federer revealed that one of the reasons he wishes to keep trying to make a comeback is because of his fans.
"It would have been easy to say 'let’s stop here'. But they deserve better than what they’ve seen from me throughout the past grass court season," Roger Federer said.
Federer then explained why he would need close to a year following his third knee surgery after already taking a year off after his first couple of procedures.
The Swiss revealed that his surgeons undertook a thorough procedure on his knee, involving several key compartments.
“This summer it was decided to suture the lesion to my meniscus, which involves some downtime," Federer revealed. "The doctors therefore took the opportunity to also treat my cartilage. The combination of these two interventions requires patience and prudence. ”
During the conversation, Federer pointed out that going under the knife for the third time was inevitable given his desire to spend his non-tennis years playing sports with his children.
"I would like to ski with my kids and play football or tennis with my friends in the future," Roger Federer added. "And I wanted to do the rehab process with the mentality and the body of a top athlete."