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At 40 years of age, Roger Federer is far from a young pup anymore. And his body is certainly giving confirmation of this. Federer has undergone three surgeries on his right knee within the space of just 18 months. This ended his 2021 season prematurely, alongside other greats like Rafael Nadal. Then again, I guess all those years of playing such an impactful sport eventually take their toll.
At this year’s Laver Cup, Federer did attend while on crutches. This was a bit of a sorry sight, but he has claimed that ‘the worst is behind him’. At least he is remaining positive about things, but he has yet to give a 2022 planned schedule. One thing is certain, however, he certainly isn’t rushing into things. This statement gives us all a bit of an idea as to what he might be aiming for, as discussed below.
Federer 2022 – what his return might look like
For all the Federer fans out there (myself included), it’s promising that Federer does plan on coming back. Sure, the surgeries and knee problems have been a challenge, but he still loves the game. And why wouldn’t he? He’s not bad at it! In recent interviews, he has expressed his intentions to return, although he won’t be rushing it. This leads me to believe that the following is most likely:
Absent from Q1
I would be nothing short of amazed if Federer was to head Down Under and compete in Australia. The third knee surgery is still very recent, and just a few weeks ago the guy was still on crutches. Not being able to walk suggests that playing a competitive tennis match is most certainly not on the menu. Of course, his body will recover, but with the Aussie Open being played in January, I can’t see him playing.
A return for the grass-court season
Many pundits believe that Federer’s best shot to win another slam is Wimbledon. I am inclined to agree with this opinion, as he is a monster on the grass. It’s also a surface that is nowhere near as demanding on the body. This is why I think that the most likely comeback for Federer will be Wimbledon. He may even play a few of the warm-up events like Queens or Halle, but it all depends on the knee.
Since the grass-court season doesn’t kick off until May 2022, this gives him more time to recover too.
Possible US Open appearance
I don’t like to get overly optimistic about Federer’s chances at Wimbledon these days. I’m a big fan, but while I’d love to say he can win the whole thing, that’s extremely speculative. For me, it would be a big win if he could go deep in the draw and keep healthy regarding the knee. If he is able to do this, I firmly believe that he will head to New York for a shot at the US Open. That’s not until September 2022, and I’m sure Federer will be targeting the event if his knee holds strong.