ROGER FEDERER is due to return to competitive tennis this year after a long-term absence following a knee operation which he hopes will prolong his career.
The latest positive update from Roger Federer about his recovery from a knee operation has fans excited about seeing the tennis legend in action again. He hasn’t played a competitive match since Wimbledon last year, and a full year will have passed by the time the Swiss has a chance of returning to the court again.
He chose to undergo knee surgery after being knocked out of the tournament in SW19 by Hubert Hurkacz – his third such operation in 18 months. Federer hopes that, by doing so, he will be able to prolong his trophy-laden career.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has been offering little updates for fans throughout his recovery, the most recent of which was the most promising yet. He revealed that the racket is back in his hand and he is hitting balls again.
In the footage, posted to his Instagram account, Federer is seen hitting powerful groundstrokes. He is clearly seen to be avoiding moving too much to put unnecessary stress on that knee, but it is still a very positive step in his rehabilitation.
Despite that, though, it is still set to be a long time until the Grand Slam legend is back on a court again. The next major championship is the French Open, set to begin in two months’ time, but that will come much too early for the 40-year-old. So when will Federer finally be back in action?
It would be somewhat fitting for the man from Basel to make his grand return at the very same tournament where he was last seen. However, the June-July Grand Slam at the All England Club could come too soon for Federer, along with the rest of the grass court season.
At the moment, I don’t envisage him playing Wimbledon,” said his coach Severin Luthi earlier this month. “I’m not someone who is saying it’s impossible. But I can’t imagine it right now. He’s still in the rehabilitation phase. Not only do the knee and leg muscles have to be built up, the whole body has to be strengthened. It’s a full conditioning program.”
The final Grand Slam of the year is thought to be at least a more realistic target. The New York tournament begins on August 29 and runs to the middle of September, and he would certainly like to be involved if possible after missing out on the competition last year after the surgery.
Federer has admitted he is starting to think about his comeback, but the timeframe he has given might still be too early for the US Open. He is aiming for “the end of the summer, early autumn”, meaning it would be a real race against time for this one.
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This is the point where it starts to become much more likely that Federer will be ready to play. After all, he is currently down to take part in the fifth edition of the Ryder Cup-style event, representing Team Europe against players from the rest of the world.
The Swiss is down to play doubles alongside his great friend and rival Rafael Nadal, and will hope to avoid having to cancel that appearance. This makes it very possible that his grand return to action might be on UK soil, with the Laver Cup taking place at the O2 Arena.
This would be the really romantic one for Federer, being able to come back to competitive tennis in front of a roaring crowd in his home city of Basel. The ATP 500 event is scheduled for the end of October, making it really likely that, as long as his recovery doesn’t suffer any setbacks, he will be fit to play.
Playing and being competitive are two very different things, but considering his record at this event a victorious return cannot be ruled out. He is the current Swiss Indoors champion – it hasn’t been held since 2019 due to the pandemic – and he has won his last 25 consecutive matches in that tournament.