While Rafael Nadal, Gaël Monfils, Stan Wawrinka and other Fabio Fognini finally resume their season in Rome, the “Maestro” is still at a standstill. We have known for months, Roger Federer has drawn a line on the 2020 season after passing twice on billiards. Operated on his right knee in February, the Swiss had thus undergone a second arthroscopy a few weeks later because of persistent discomfort. Since then, he has been discreet, but his historical coach Severin Lüthi finally spoke in a Swiss newspaper, the The New Zurich Times, to take stock of the situation.
“Rehabilitation is going normally, there has been no relapse. As with everyone, there are good days and bad days after surgery. Roger started physiotherapy the day after the operation. Right now, the priority is to get back to optimal fitness again“, thus testified Lüthi. Since July, Federer works to do this with his physical trainer of always, Pierre Paganini. There was even question of finding the racket as of mid-August with the last news.
“Retirement was never seriously considered”
But the man with the 20 Grand Slam titles has remained silent in recent weeks, speaking on Twitter only for and Vasek Pospisil (the PTPA launched before the US Open, Editor’s note). No photo of his possible progress on social networks, no video of him racket in hand on a court. And for good reason: he still hasn’t taken up tennis yet.
What to be pessimistic about the future when the Balois celebrated his 39 years last month? Far from it for his coach who is not alarmed. “We expect a regular return to the court from the beginning of October. Because one thing is certain: he needs hours of training before making his comeback. We still have enough time. The months of October, November and December will be vital in the prospect of a comeback. Retirement was never seriously considered. “
Tennis resumes in October with Melbourne in the lead
If all goes well, Federer should be ready for the next Australian Open, after almost a year of forced retirement. But he doesn’t want to rush anything either. “Roger wants to take his time. We have a program, but it is not inflexible. This means that if he needs more weeks, he will take them. Getting back into excellent physical condition is the key to being competitive at a high level again. And that’s the goal“, Lüthi said.
Because Federer is not the type to want to make extras or a farewell tour to please his audience. If he returns, it is to play the leading roles again. The last time he had to go through such an ordeal was four years ago. Like a phoenix, he then got everyone to agree upon his resumption at the 2017 Australian Open. Can he hope for a similar scenario? “Let’s be honest: what he had done in Melbourne was almost a miracle. Winning one of the biggest tournaments in the world almost without preparation in competition (he had played the Hopman Cup, editor’s note), it was extraordinary“, recalled Lüthi, as if to calm any excessive expectations.
“Federer is an exceptional talent. But his rivals are all very good tennis players, especially the youngsters who are constantly improving.“, finally underlined the Swiss coach. Because in addition to his great traditional rivals, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the” Maestro “(if he returns as planned) will not find the circuit in the same state as he left it. . Dominic Thiem’s triumph at Flushing Meadows should allow him to take on another dimension, Alexander Zverev also gained experience thanks to his first Grand Slam final. In short, the competition promises to be tough. But given the pedigree of the old lion, this ultimate challenge should not displease him.