In the late afternoon on Tuesday 13 July 2021, Roger Federer announced that he suffered a knee relapse during the turf season and that he will not take part in the Tokyo Olympics. He therefore vanishes forever his dream of winning a gold medal in singles, with the hope of seeing the Swiss phenomenon on the court again by the end of the summer.
The former world number 1 has just returned from the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, a fairly satisfactory result given the ups and downs he has had to deal with over the past year and a half. The defeat at the hands of Hubert Hurkacz highlighted all his difficulties, further exacerbated by the low number of games played in 2021.
The 39-year-old from Basel has always been very reserved about his physical condition, avoiding giving too much detail to the media. The 20-time Grand Slam champion underwent two surgeries on his right knee last year, but the extent of the problem affecting him was not disclosed.
The Punto de Break portal recently contacted a physiotherapist who works for ATP, who put forward a hypothesis on the type of injury of the Master. "Taking into account his recovery times, the most accepted hypothesis could be that of a cartilage problem.
Roger Federer has gained a lot of muscle mass in his legs, suggesting a probable deficiency in the joint. When he was operated on, I believe he was advised to increase muscle mass in his quadriceps, which is quite common in cases like his.
Cartilage is a very difficult area to put back in place, in addition to the fact that it tends to become inflamed. The relapse he accused during the grass season could be due precisely to this aspect," explained the physiotherapist.
“If you have a cartilage problem, it is very difficult to play for several consecutive days. You can do treatments with hyaluronic acid or enriched plasma, but the knee is a joint that suffers a lot in tennis," he added.
Marian Vajda: "Djokovic deserves respect, he's a champion"
One of Novak Djokovic's secrets is Marian Vajda. The historical coach of the Serbian champion has been an integral part of his life for more than fifteen years.
Their collaboration began before the Roland Garros 2006 and, barring a short break, it never ended. Vajda has been part of Djokovic's team in all 20 Grand Slam tournaments they have won and, today, continues to follow his pupil as if it were the first time with the help of Goran Ivanisevic.
Vajda gave an interesting interview to Tennis Majors; interview in which he talked about Djokovic's popularity and dominance. "I feel that no one has tested Djokovic to the fullest. For the final I told my family that four sets would be played with a tie-break; my prediction was right.
Novak plays smart on grass and has a lot of experience, he has excelled on this surface for years, and that was a big advantage against Matteo Berrettini. For Matteo it was difficult, it was his first Grand Slam final. Ivanisevic? As a team we share every moment: preparation for a match, analysis and more.
We share a passion for tennis and important private matters with our families. Novak is an amazing guy, because he always brings positive energy. It's a real luck to be part of his team." Vajda then focused on the rapping between Djokovic and the media: "It's complicated.
The media write what they want, perhaps to influence someone. Sometimes they don't see the complexity of Djokovic's personality. He is great, a positive person who brings energy to the viewers. The crowds are in favor of the underdogs because he is so dominant and nobody wants to see him win.
He is so dominant that people are jealous when he sees perfection and wonders how it is possible. I think he is an example. His level of play is not a miracle: there is a lot of work behind it. I think Novak is a great example for the younger generation of athletes and for people in general.
I would like to see more balance when it comes to Djokovic. The media promote Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, as well as the new generations. Good things have also been written about Novak, but from my point of view he deserves better media coverage, he is a true champion."