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Watch: Roger Federer practicing in Dubai

Roger Federer faces a race against time to be fit for the 2021 Australian Open.
Roger Federer faces a race against time to be fit for the 2021 Australian Open.
ANALYST
Modified 23 Dec 2020, 19:13 IST
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A video of Roger Federer practicing in Dubai has emerged on social media, where the Swiss legend can be seen swinging his racquet on the tennis courts of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. This is one of the very few videos showing Federer on the court after his double knee surgery earlier in the year.

The 14-second long clip was posted on Twitter by former Indian diplomat and current Deccan Chronicles columnist, K.C. Singh. Singh's son, who seems to be residing in the same hotel as Roger Federer, is the one who filmed the video.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion has himself confirmed he is currently in Dubai with his wife and kids. The Federer family has also been separately photographed in other locations of the city.

In the video, we can see Roger Federer trading a few hits with a practice partner (who is not in the frame). The 39-year-old is, not surprisingly, training on a hardcourt, ahead of the Australian Open which will be played on the same surface.

Federer can also be seen doing his signature racquet 'twirl' before taking a step forward and ripping a one-handed backhand.

The entire tennis world saw Federer unleash an improved and more powerful backhand when he made his stellar comeback in 2017. His fans would undoubtedly be hoping the six-time Australian Open champion again showcases a new trick up his sleeve when he returns to the court next year.

Will Roger Federer play the 2021 Australian Open?

Can Roger Federer pull off a repeat of the 2017 Australian Open?
Can Roger Federer pull off a repeat of the 2017 Australian Open?

Not much can be concluded from a 14-second clip, but this new development does seem to contain a sliver of hope for Roger Federer fans.

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Firstly, the 39-year-old appears to have his footwork in shape, with not much visible discomfort in his knee. Moreover, given that the 2021 Australian Open is held in the summer heat, it is an encouraging sign that Federer has chosen to practice in Dubai's warm climate.

The middle eastern city is a favored practice and holiday destination for Roger Federer; he generally flies there during December every year to prepare for the Australian Open. As such, Federer following the same routine this year indicates that the Swiss star is hopeful of participating in the Australian Open next year.

Published 23 Dec 2020, 18:21 IST
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