Tennis: Federer will face 'reality check' on return: Wilander

FILE PHOTO: Jul 7, 2021; London, United Kingdom; Roger Federer (SUI) plays against Hubert Hurkacz (POL) in the quarter finals at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Roger Federer will face a "reality check" when he returns to the Tour after a lengthy injury break, seven-time major champion Mats Wilander said.

Federer, 40, told Swiss media last week that he was unlikely to return to competition until mid-2022 as he looks to get back to full fitness after multiple knee surgeries and would be "extremely surprised" if he was able to play at Wimbledon.

Federer, who is tied with Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic on 20 Grand Slam singles titles, said he would be able to resume running in January and return to on-court training in March or April.

"I think it's possible for him to come back," Wilander told Eurosport. "I think if he keeps saying it himself, he obviously has his mind set on coming back.

"I think the bigger problem to me is that these guys are getting really, really good. (Alexander) Zverev and (Daniil) Medvedev are the guys pushing behind, they are playing huge games of tennis.

"And of course, Federer has his serve but how big a weapon is a Roger Federer serve compared to let's say a Zverev or Medvedev serve? I think that's going to be the reality check."

Federer had two knee operations in 2020 that kept him out of the Tour for more than a year and returned to action in March but managed to play only 13 matches this year.

Another injury at Wimbledon forced Federer, who won his last major at the 2018 Australian Open, to skip the U.S. Open as he went under the knife again.

"I don't think that Roger Federer will play too many matches on Tour," Wilander said.

"He realises that he does still have a chance to win -- maybe not a Grand Slam, maybe not a final -- but three or four matches. I think it's worth it for him to come back in his own mind.

"I don't think he will know until he steps on court for at least a two- or three-set match against the likes of Zverev and Medvedev."

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Peter Rutherford)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Tennis

Tennis-Djokovic's absence from Australian Open loss for game - ATP
Djokovic 'extremely disappointed' with cancellation of visa
Tennis-Djokovic's court defeat to shake up Australian Open draw
Reaction to Australia court upholding cancellation of Djokovic's visa
Australian federal court upholds cancellation of Djokovic's Australian visa
Tennis-Djokovic to play late match at Rod Laver Arena, pending court decision
Tennis-Djokovic needs our support, Kyrgios tells players
Tennis-Keys keen to avoid return to 'dark pit of despair'
Australian federal court adjourns Djokovic case to consider verdict
Tennis-Third round would be good outcome for Raducanu in Melbourne, says Henin

Others Also Read