Roger Federer is preparing for another tennis comeback, but one of his former peers is unsure if he is still capable of winning the sport’s biggest titles. Now aged 40, while his skill and ability remains, 2013 French Open finalist David Ferrer questions whether the former world number one will be able the challenge from a physical standpoint.
“I’m not saying Roger can’t be close to winning a Grand Slam, but he hasn’t competed for two years,” the Spaniard said. “He won’t be seeded and he’ll have to play against top-tier players and that wears you out physically.”
After a knee injury curtailed his 2016 season, the Swiss Maestro returned at the beginning of the 2017 campaign. He produced a truly phenomenal year which saw him win the Australian Open in January, before claiming the Indian Wells and Miami double.
Federer then became the most prolific Wimbledon winner in history after capturing his eighth title that summer. The tennis legend managed to return to the number one ranking that year and at the start of the following season, he won at Melbourne Park for the second year in a row to claim his 20th Grand Slam crown.
This was a record until Rafael Nadal claimed his 21st major title at the Australian Open in January. Novak Djokovic tied Federer’s Grand Slam tally at Wimbledon last summer and the debate concerning which player will finish with the most slams rumbles on.
Ferrer also shared his thoughts on which member of the big three he believes will finish their glittering career on top. “First I don’t want to think about when it’s (the debate) going to end,” he was quoted as saying by La Vanguardia.
“I want to enjoy them. I love that there is that incentive to see who is the best on the planet in this sport. And I love that Rafa is the best at the moment. I think that between Rafa and Djokovic there will be the fight to be the best.”
Like many, Ferrer struggled in his head-to-head rivalry with the big three, especially Federer against who he failed to win any of their 17 matches. The former world number three contested 32 matches against his compatriot Nadal, one of which was his lone Grand Slam final appearance, and won just six of those meetings.
His stats against Djokovic do not make for much better reading, as he won just five of 21 matches with the Serb, with the last victory coming in 2011.