The legendary Swiss Roger Federer has been away from tennis since February, as he has had to undergo two surgeries on his right knee. The second surgery in particular was quite shocking as not many knew that Federer had suffered a setback during his first phase of rehabilitation.
But over the past few weeks Roger Federer has given indications that he is slowly but steadily getting back on track for a 2021 return. The Swiss had announced last month that he was aiming for the December-January period for a return to total fitness.
Now, his long-time coach and friend Severin Luthi has given some more positive news regarding the Swiss’s recovery.
Roger Federer is likely to resume racquet-training in mid-August: Severin Luthi
Back when Roger Federer had announced that he had undergone a second surgery, many had started speculating whether he was close to announcing his retirement. After all, recovering from two surgeries at his age, and then returning to competition at the highest level, is an exceptionally difficult feat.
But like in all adverse situations, the 20-time Grand Slam champion seems to have found a way back again with his positive approach. His close friend Severin Luthi highlighted this aspect in his interview by saying:
“Roger is fine. Very well, but that's not surprising when you know his way of always seeing the positive side of things.”
It will be key for Federer and his team to time every aspect of his return to perfection. A slight rush could potentially derail weeks of progress and further delay the Swiss’ comeback, as they found a few months ago.
Luthi and Paganini (Federer’s fitness coach) seem to have taken that into account now, and are giving Roger Federer about two months of physical training before he resumes hitting on the court.
“He's doing his physio," Luthi said. "He started working again on the physical plane. The next step will be to resume racquet-training in mid-August.”
This would definitely be seen as exciting news by the millions of Federer fans around the world, who are awaiting his return with great anticipation. That being said, the next month or so of the recovery phase will be very crucial for the celebrated Swiss.
Discussions are underway on the advisability of Roger Federer playing before Melbourne: Severin Luthi
Even if Roger Federer returns to full physical fitness around December-January, he’d still be woefully short of real match practice. That in turn could affect the Swiss’ rhythm in the opening stages of the 2021 Australian Open.
He might even run the risk of making an early exit, which would be a real dampener as Federer doesn’t have too many more years left on tour.
In that context, Luthi discussed the possibility of his friend playing even before the Australian Open:
“We stand by what has been decided, Roger will return for the 2021 Australian Open if it takes place. However, discussions are underway on the advisability of playing a tournament just before Melbourne.”
It remains to be seen which tournament Roger Federer goes for at that time, but his coach's words suggest his recovery is fully on track.
Luthi also talked about the upcoming schedule amid the restart of the ATP tour, and expressed doubt whether this year's US Open will take place.
“Two months ago, I was ready to bet that the 2020 season was over, but the Grand Slams keep pushing for a recovery. I think it's still 50-50 for the US Open though,” Luthi said.