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.”
— ATP Tour (@atptour) December 11, 2020
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. 🥰😎”
En Mallorca podemos hacer deporte y disfrutar de la naturaleza en invierno al mismo tiempo. Una suerte que tenemos. Este fin de semana disfruté mucho con familia y amigos estos momentos y estos paisajes 🥰😎 pic.twitter.com/k6hU9IoRyy
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) December 14, 2020
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.
— Gael Monfils (@Gael_Monfils) December 11, 2020
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova: Plays for the energy
— wta (@WTA) December 14, 2020
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.
— Tennis World Italia (@TennisWorldit) December 14, 2020
A conversation with Alex de Minaur
🚨New pod out!! I’m joined this time by current world no.23 Alex de Minaur 🇦🇺!
We talk about his 2020 season, his relationship with Kyrgios, the reality of being a professional tennis player, his goals for 2021, and more!
— Eric Han (@MrEricHan) December 13, 2020
Happy 74th Birthday, Stan Smith
🔵 1971 men’s singles champion
🟡 4-time men’s doubles champion
🔵 The shoes are always 💯, too
Happy birthday, Stan Smith! pic.twitter.com/uXNk1DhJQc
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) December 14, 2020
What they’re sharing on social media
Alizé Cornet / Jour de repos (Day off)
— Alize Cornet (@alizecornet) December 13, 2020
Dayana Yastremska / Please be careful!
Hey everyone 👋
Two days after arriving in Dubai, my COVID-19 test came back positive. I went into self-isolation and didn’t train for 2 weeks. The symptoms were very strange, it was bad! I fully recovered now and my focus is to go back training!
Guys, please be careful! 🙏😷 pic.twitter.com/HGH3yyzKXV
— Dayana Yastremska (@D_Yastremska) December 14, 2020