Interviewed by Eurosport, seven-time Slam champion Mats Wilander expressed doubts about Roger Federer's chances of coming back to competition. Wilander said: "I think Roger Federer will return to play on the ATP Tour.
He himself confirmed this several times, so it would be a surprise if he didn't. Roger has always listened to his body perfectly, but now everything is more complicated." "The situation has changed a lot compared to Federer's last full season, that is 2019.
Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev have made a further qualitative leap, especially in this second half of 2021. The Swiss has his weapons and experience of him, but I doubt that at 40-41 he will prevail over Zverev or Medvedev.
I don't think Roger will play many games unless he realizes he can still make it to the bottom of the Grand Slams. I think he is curious to find out what he is capable of at 41 years old. Not even Federer knows exactly how things will go, but he loves to get involved."
2021 didn't bring Roger Federer much joy. The former world number 1 has struggled more than expected to recover an acceptable condition, ending up playing just 13 matches since March at Wimbledon. The Swiss phenomenon, who had undergone two knee surgeries in 2020, has collected nine wins and four defeats, a balance that speaks volumes about his current difficulties.
After a clear defeat in the quarter-finals in London, the King announced that he had suffered a knee relapse and had to operate for the third time in the last 18 months. The 20-time Grand Slam champion removed his crutches a few weeks ago and will be able to start racing again at the beginning of 2022.
To get the racket back in his hand, he will have to wait for spring instead. The 40-year-old from Basel admitted that it will be difficult to see him again on the tour before the summer of 2022, even questioning his presence at Wimbledon.
Rafael Nadal: "It will not be easy to return to the highest levels"
It's been three months since we last saw Rafael Nadal in action and fans are wondering what his condition is like. During a ceremony held in Madrid a few days ago, the Spanaird provided some updates on his rehabilitation process.
He said: "My main goal at the moment is to prepare myself in the best possible way for the new season. I hope to be competitive again in 2022. It won't be easy to get back to the top level, I was off the track for many months and I'm no longer a kid.
The competition is fierce, but I still have great enthusiasm and I hope to get a lot of satisfaction next year. As much as he looks like a machine from a mental point of view, I'm sure he too has his doubts and fears about him.
We have different characters, but both of them have led us to success. Everyone needs to find their own way." Rafael Nadal had to contend with a chronic foot injury for much of 2021. The Spanish star played the pittance of seven official tournaments this year and played his last match last August.
After his premature elimination in the Washington tournament, the former world number 1 has decided to end his season well in advance. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has been back in training for a few weeks and is expected to return to the field at the Abu Dhabi exhibition next month.
The 35-year-old from Manacor has already confirmed his participation in the Australian Open 2022, which kicks off on January 17 in Melbourne Park. Tournament director Craig Tiley has announced that the capacity will be 100%, which is very good news given the atmosphere in the Happy Slam every year.