The last time Roger Federer hit a ball in anger was in January of this year in his semi-final to defeat to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open.
Since then the Swiss has undergone two knee surgeries, witnessed the 175-day suspension of the tour from his home in Valbella, and gone through an extensive rehab program to ensure his body is ready for a touted comeback at next years Australian Open.
Since the additional arthroscopic surgery, Federer's time on a tennis court has been limited to just a couple of hours at a time, but this week the Swiss appears to have upped the intensity, tweeting for the first time in a while that he was ‘Back to work'.
Back To Work
While Federer would normally be gearing up for the season-ending ATP Finals in London, his practice in the off-season usually takes him to Dubai.
However, this year it is Switzerland, and it must be the first time in 20 years that Federer has practised outside, in November, on an outdoor hard court on home soil. My only question is who swept up the leaves?! A leaf vacuum or good old fashioned brush? 😁
Alongside Federer's return to practice, his coach, Ivan Ljubicic, also revealed in an interview that Roger's recovery was going well.
Roger Federer is in the recovery phase, I would say that things are going in the best possible way. He trains more and more and better, I’m curious to see how much we can push in the coming months. The program we had in mind to date has been fully respected. There is a lot of trust. Talking about programs is now premature. Ivan Ljubicic on Federer's recovery
Ljubicic also gave nothing away regarding Federer's schedule for next year, which given his typical long term planning must have been fleshed out to a degree.
I certainly can’t tell today what we will do in April. I know we want to leave as soon as possible, play a big Australian Open and then evaluate step by step. It is important to go step by step and observe rest periods. As we have always done. Ljubicic on Federer's 2021 plans.
Do you expect Federer to be ready for the Australian Open? Will it even go ahead? Let me know in the comments.