Roger Federer wanted to give himself one last chance to enrich his already illustrious showcase, at the eve of his 40 years-old. The Swiss Maestro skipped almost entirely last season due to a double surgery on his right knee, with rehabilitation taking him much longer than originally expected.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion returned to the court in Doha a few weeks ago, but in the meantime he had to cash in on Rafael Nadal's engagement at 20 Grand Slams and overtaking Novak Djokovic in the weeks at the top of the ATP ranking.
The big goal of the 39-year-old from Basel is Wimbledon, without forgetting the dream of wearing the gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. It is not excluded that 2021 may be the last season of King Roger, whose programming has been reduced to the bone to preserve his physique.
In the latest edition of the Match Points podcast, former WTA star Marion Bartoli explained how Federer has no intention of risking his physical health just to keep a few records.
Bartoli: "Federer wants to keep the Slam record"
She said: "I think Roger Federer cares above all to stay at the top of the Grand Slam standings.
Obviously he was the first to reach 20 and it is logical that he wants to stay on top. Novak Djokovic has already broken his record of weeks at the top of the ATP rankings. I don't think he likes losing all of his records.
However, I feel that he will not put his physique at risk of him for this reason alone, he has already achieved enough. He only went to Doha to assess where he was and to understand what he was missing. Probably, already after the match with Evans, he had understood that there was a need to work on physical fitness.
That's why he wants to play some tournaments on clay before Wimbledon. Then there are the Olympics, of course." With 20 triumphs, Roger Federer, along with Rafael Nadal, he is the most successful player in the history of men's tennis in Grand Slam tournaments.
In 2009 with the victory in Roland Garros he completed the Career Grand Slam. In 2017, by beating Marin Cilic in the final, he became the only man to have won Wimbledon eight times, the oldest and most prestigious tournament in the world.
On 28 January 2018, by winning his twentieth Grand Slam, he marks one of the most significant feats in the history of sport. From that date to 27 January 2019, he is the only player in history to simultaneously hold the record for trophies won in two different Grand Slam events (8 titles at Wimbledon, absolute record and 6 Australian Open, ex aequo with Djokovic and Emerson).
He is the tennis player who has won the ATP Finals several times (6) (obtaining the highest number of participations in the final, 10) and who has won the most titles both on hard (67) and on grass (19). In 2014, winning the decisive singles match against the French Richard Gasquet, he led the Swiss team to win their first Davis Cup.
At the Olympics he won two medals: at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing he won gold in the double together with compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka, while in London 2012 he won silver in the singles by losing in the final at Wimbledon to Andy Murray.
With 54 successes he is, behind Novak Djokovic (59) and Rafael Nadal (56), in third place in the ranking of the winners of the so-called Big Titles, namely the Grand Slam tournaments, the Masters 1000, the ATP Finals and the Olympics.
With a prize pool of around 130 million dollars, he is the second player in history in the ranking of career earnings, preceded by Djokovic.