Although he has been seen on court (shortly) in 2021, Roger Federer has long slipped into the shadows due to his knee problems. Only five tournaments, that is the balance of the activity of the Swiss champion in the last year, being the Wimbledon quarterfinals, on July 7, his last appearance in official matches, clearly lost to Hubert Hurkacz.
At the umpteenth stoppage, caused by the new surgery in August 2021, there was the possibility that the Swiss had come to an end, also given his advanced age. Ideas that have never been reflected in Federer’s own story, which made it clear that he wanted to finish his glorious career on the court and not as a spectator.
Meanwhile, his return to the circuit remains a mystery. What is certain, according to his friend and compatriot Stan Wawrinka, is that he will not be able to return to the levels of a few years ago. Like Roger Federer, three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka has long been involved in an ordeal that has kept him in the pits for more than a year and will only end at Roland Garros, as he himself announced.
Invited to the Air Open podcast, curated by L’Équipe, Wawrinka nevertheless responded about his illustrious colleague and compatriot, expressing his doubts both about the date of his return and about Federer’s level at the time of his return to the courts: “I think it’s just impossible to tell right now, because from what he’s saying, what he’s showing, and what he’s doing or not doing now and in the last few months, he’s too far gone to know exactly where he’s going.”
Higueras pays tribute to Federer
Legendary tennis coach Jose Higueras has lavished praise on his former pupil Roger Federer, saying the Swiss cannot be compared to any other player on tour. “It’s tough to compare Roger [Federer] with anybody.
He is so unique in everything – how he goes about his game, off the court,” Higueras said. “He likes to feel the ball on his racquet strings, he likes to experiment. If you tell him something, he will digest it, he will think about it and [he is one of] those guys who are always so thirsty to learn.”
Higueras recounted one particular incident to highlight the Swiss’ uniqueness. The 68-year-old recalled that after losing the 2008 Roland Garros final 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 to Rafael Nadal, Federer hosted a get-together for his friends a few hours later.
“With Roger, there is always something funny happening. When he got defeated by Rafael Nadal in the  French Open, he won only four games. After that, we had a get-together with a bunch of his friends from Switzerland, like forty people.
I was so depressed but [he had a celebration after that huge loss],” Higueras said. “My point is, he is just so unique.”
Rafael Nadal has come close to becoming the second player in history to win a Masters 1000 title aged over 35 year-old. The bib injury, which partially compromised the race, and the excellent performance of Taylor Fritz, however, denied the Majorcan to equal this record which remains in the hands of Roger Federer.
The Swiss champion, in fact, won his last 1000 in his career at 37 when he won Miami in 2019 by beating John Isner. It is not known when the 40-year-old from Basel will return to the field again, but in the meantime a few days ago he sparked the enthusiasm of tennis fans by publishing a video while trying the forehand on an indoor court.
A sign therefore that he has started training in view of a possible return to the Tour. Nadal, in the final defeat against Fritz, missed the opportunity to reach current record holder Novak Djokovic at 37 masters 1000. But not only.
The Manacor bull finished his streak of streak victories at 20, the third best early season streak in the history of this discipline. Only Djokovic did better than him in 2020 and 2011 when he took 25 and 41 wins in a row respectively.
Rafael Nadal strengthens his win rate record in tennis
In this Indian Wells, however, the twenty-one time slam winner has instead confirmed and strengthened a very important record: with 1048 wins and 210 defeats he is in first place for percentage of games won: 83.31%.
Behind him is Nole Djokovic who lost a little in the quarter-final in Dubai. The score of the 34-year-old from Belgrade marks 991 wins and 200 defeats which translate into 83.21% of successes. Between slams and masters 1000, the two will fight in 2022 also for this other important record.
Both will be absent in the Miami 1000 which has just started. Djokovic because of his unvaccinated status, while Rafael Nadal to recharge his batteries in view of the season on red where he will certainly want to do well and avenge the defeat in the semifinal last season at Roland Garros against the Serbian.