Federer: Doubt About His Readiness For Australian Open

WASHINGTON, December 15, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

On Sunday evening, twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer was feted at the Swiss Sports Awards in Zurich as Switzerland’s greatest athlete of the past 70 years. No surprise there, it was a very deserving honor for the 39-year-old tennis great.

However, what generated social media buzz was a quote by the Swiss maestro, which addressed his physical condition. Federer has been rehabbing a right knee injury – which has resulted in two operations – and has not played since losing to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of this year’s Australian Open on January 30: “I hope that in 2021 I will return to the courts. We will see. But if my career had to end here, well it would be incredible to end it with this award.”

Federer recently suggested during a video chat with Kei Nishikori that he looks forward to competing for a singles gold medal in the Tokyo Olympic Games next July, one of the few big honors that has eluded Federer during his illustrious career. He won a silver medal in singles in London in 2012 and a doubles gold medal with Stan Wawrinka in Beijing in 2008. Federer missed the 2016 Rio Games due to a left knee injury.

“Big plan is to be there for the Olympics,” Federer told Nishikori. “This is for me, the big one. Maybe, selfishly for me, it is not a bad thing that it was moved a little bit because of the problems I had last year. Let’s hope for the best for the Olympic Games coming to Tokyo this next year. This is clearly also one of my big goals. I really hope I can come back to Tokyo for that.”

According to a report in SRF Sport, Federer said: “I would have hoped that I would be at 100 percent by October. But I still am not today. It will be tight for the Australian Open.” While Federer suggested that he’s satisfied with the progress of his recovery – even if it doesn’t go as quickly as intended – he added: “I wish I was further along, but at the same time I’m satisfied with where I am at the moment.”

Don’t expect Federer to rush himself back to competition unless he’s ready. “We had a plan from the start in which we took enough time,” he said. “Only when we are sure that we can move on to the next step will we do it.”

It would not be a surprise to see Federer bypass Melbourne and set Wimbledon as a target date for his return.

L’Equipe: ATP 2021 calendar taking shape

According to L’Equipe tennis writer Quentin Moynet, here is how the ATP calendar is shaping up for the beginning of 2021:

• Before Australia: Delray Beach

• January 15-17: Compulsory arrival in Melbourne

• Feb. 1-7: An ATP 250 + ATP Cup/ATP 750

• Feb. 8-21: Australian Open

• Feb. 22-28: Montpellier, Cordoba and ATP 250 with a new license

• March 1-7: Rotterdam, Buenos Aires and ATP 250 with a new license

• March 8-14: Doha, Marseille and Santiago

• March 15-21 Acapulco and Dubai

Note, Auckland, Pune, New York, Rio and Indian Wells will be cancelled or postponed.

Rafael Nadal: Taking time to enjoy nature

“In Mallorca we can do sports and enjoy nature in winter at the same time,” Rafael Nadal wrote on Twitter. “Lucky we are. This weekend I really enjoyed with family and friends these moments and these landscapes. 🥰😎”

Gaël Monfils: Debuts on Tik-Tok

It was just a matter of time before Gaël Monfils joined Tik-Tok, a social medium his girlfriend, World No. 5 Elina Svitolina, has mastered.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova: Plays for the energy

Viktor Troicki: Nearing retirement

According to reports, veteran Serbian player Viktor Troicki is nearing a decision on retirement. It is expected that Troicki will be named as Serbia Davis Cup captain, replacing Nenad Zimonjic.

A conversation with Alex de Minaur

Happy 74th Birthday, Stan Smith

What they’re sharing on social media

Alizé Cornet / Jour de repos (Day off)

Dayana Yastremska / Please be careful!