Roger Federer

Roger Federer Gives An Update On His Rehab

The Swiss Maestro spoke to sports journalist Mathieu Aeschmann in a bid to clear up some recent speculation.

Earlier this month, tennis fans were led astray when Darren Cahill claimed that Roger Federer was playing the 2022 Australian Open.

Speaking to Sportsday, Cahill stated:

I know he’s doing a lot of work on the court at the moment and we’re pretty sure he’s going to come down to play the Australian Open. At 40 years of age, the fact that he’s even doing what he’s doing is quite remarkable. Darren Cahill

Of course, most Federer fans knew that this had to be false as he's yet to step on a tennis court for serious training, but given rational thinking has become a rare commodity over the last two years; it was soon spread across the world as fact.

Cahill was, of course, quick to retract the claim once questioned, but his baseless speculation didn't go unnoticed in the Federer household.

As a result, the Swiss decided to set the record straight by speaking to the Tribune de Genève and 24heures.

federer phone

Federer gave Mathieu Aeschmann a forty-minute interview to both clear things up and offer his fans some news regarding his plans for the upcoming season.

While he was still relatively coy about it all, he did share some new information regarding his injury at Wimbledon, his reason for the operation and some loose plans for the future.

When Will Federer Play Again?

federer halle press

As expected, Federer's next time stepping onto a tennis court for competitive play is completely unknown, and although rehab is progressing, tennis-specific training is still a long way off.

The truth is that I would be incredibly surprised to play Wimbledon; as much to say that Australia does not even come into play. And that is not a surprise. We knew before the operation that its nature would require long months of break. So there is nothing new. I wanted to wait for the doctors' first major check-up to talk about it: it is very encouraging. So I started a long process of rehabilitation in which I put all my heart. But that's how it is, the situation has nothing to do with 2016. You have to be patient to give my knee time to recover 100%. Federer on his rehabilitation schedule

My own take from this is that Federer will not play tennis in 2022. Or if he does, it will be at the very end of the year. 

Federer's doctors have advised him that he can start running gently in January before slowly returning to the court, and he can undertake tennis type training by the spring.

So while he's undoubtedly been doing some physical work that doesn't load the knee, such as swimming, biking and strength training, there is simply no way he can rebuild his physical condition for tennis that quickly, and he won't make the mistake of rushing back as he did this season.

What Was Federer's Injury During the Grass Court Season?

federer hurkacz

Examinations after the grass season revealed a new injury to my right medial meniscus. It was therefore decided to stitch it, which creates a period immobilization; the doctors therefore took the opportunity to also treat my cartilage. However, the combination of these two interventions requires patience and great care. This is why I could not put my weight down so I moved on crutches. This operation, I was going to have to do it anyway for my long-term well-being. It is a restorative intervention. In this sense, it is more important than those of 2020 which aimed to relieve me of a problem that I had been dragging for a few years. Federer on re-injuring his knee during the grass court season of 2021

As several fans had speculated, it appears Federer's knee problems first reappeared in Halle, and he revealed that he knew immediately after his loss to Felix Auger Aliassime that Wimbledon would not be another fairytale.

Still, he took to the court and somehow made the quarter-finals at SW19 despite playing with a wobbly meniscus, showing that even when handicapped, he could still compete with the best.

So why does he still carry on? There are several reasons, but his fans are a big one.

First, I want to say that I undertook this operation to be able to ski with my children, to play soccer or tennis with my friends in the decades to come. My first motivation was to get back in shape for my life as a man. But I wanted to take on this demanding rehabilitation with the body and mentality of an elite athlete. I understand the feelings of the fans. It is moreover for them that I wanted to speak today: I think that they deserve to understand my mood and my hopes. You know, the easiest would almost be to say: it's good, I've given a lot, received a lot. We stop everything. But instead, I give everything to come back once again, it is also my way of thanking them. They deserve better than the image left during the grass season this year. Federer on why he decided to try another comeback

For those who want to read it, the full interview is available in Swiss german over at the Tages-Anzeiger but is behind a paywall.

When do you think Federer will play again? Let me know in the comments.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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27 Comments

    1. I’m prepared to surprising good news some time during 2022. That is, we don’t know, but nothing is for sure…hope is alive still. He’ll do what he can, he wants it still!

  1. From a fans point of view not seeing Fed for another year very sad.But from his point of view absolutely the right decision.No tennis match is worth risking being crippled for.
    Tennis is so uninspiring now with characters such as Djokovic and Medvedev dominating for goodness how long.
    Sinner looks very promising but is hardly charismatic,but then none of them are.

      1. Indeed. At his best, Thiem is a more complete (and, of course, more experienced) player than any of the “next gen” or the new “next gen” or whatever else they’re calling them these days. But his comeback too is rather uncertain, isn’t it?

  2. What this would mean though is coming back in late 2022 or early 2023, age 41, after 18 months out. He must really believe in his abilities.
    I hope he still goes to Wimbledon as a commentator and pundit.

  3. ´So why does he still carry on? There are several reasons, but his fans are a big one.´ – 🥺
    Thanks for the update, Jonathan. We miss him. Tennis and the PT community is not the same without him. My hope never dies but should get used to it, I guess…?

  4. Thanks Jonathan for sharing. Loved to see his thoughts generally on wanting to live a normal life as a father and friend ( skiing and such) but his loyalty to fans too. Tennis will be ecstatic to have him back. As a bit of a fill in until then, I am enjoying Carlos Alcaraz.

  5. A huge Roger fan for over 20 years. He brings qualities to the game such as grace, humility, humor and expertise like no one else. He has been great missed! Hope to see him back on the court soon. You are the best, Roger.

  6. Btw the group stage of the ATP finals is an immense cakewalk for Djokovic.
    Rublev lost his mojo months ago
    Tsitsipas injured and pulled out/his alternate Norrie is solid nothing more.
    C. Ruud same as Norrie.
    Group stage ridiculous.
    M.Rosset said it already. A weak field.
    I am saying it on and on.
    It’s been a weak era for years…
    So sad. Men’s tennis becomes very similar to women’s tennis. Low level and one good player which is Djoko (like Serena used to be).
    On good and lots of average stuff…

    1. Nadal and Thiem can make it more interesting if they come back to top form.
      ATF Finals are weaker than NextGen this yer 😉
      Everyone looking for the title and then giving-up after 1-2 losses and having injuries all of a sudden.
      Poor level of tennis and no emotions really.
      And only Djoker looking somehow fresh. Well, he didn’t need to battle for qualification 😉
      Alcaraz would reach the final here

  7. Great article and great line: “…but given rational thinking has become a rare commodity over the last two years; it was soon spread across the world as fact.”

    Roger has set a very high bar for future players of the game. We will certainly miss him dearly!

  8. Thanks for clearing up the speculation. I will miss seeing Roger and I doubt he will be back at least until the end of the season. Very glad he gave this interview. He really seems to care about his fans. I kind of wish he didn’t feel he had to continue after Halle; he might have injured himself further. Best of luck on your recovery, Roger. You’re the GOAT and an exemplary human being! 👍🎾

  9. I was happy to read a first-hand account that clearly states, in the context of a larger conversation, that Fed’s goal is to play professionally at least once again: “My world will not collapse if I never play in another Grand Slam final. But it is my ultimate dream to return once again. And in fact, I still believe in it. I believe in these kinds of miracles. I have already experienced them.”

    As a fan, I am glad that Fed speaks of a When, rather than an If!! I so hope that he has the opportunity to retire on his own terms.

  10. I simply CAN’T HELP but wonder what (officially) winning Wimbledon 2019 would have meant in the larger scheme of things. What do you guys think?

    I know this is “in hindsight” speculating and I’m also PRETTY sure that Fed, even if he’s won, would almost certainly NOT have retired immediately. I also know it’s very likely that it’s us fans who agonize over that loss more than the Fed does.

    That said – given the unexpected things that came after that loss (covid first, then the double surgery, then the cancellation of Wimbledon 2020), I really do wonder how WINNING Wimby 2019 would have affected Fed’s approach towards retirement and returning? Because in the context of his “coming back for the fans”, a win at Wimby 2019 would not only have immortalized the Fed, it would have given his fans SO MUCH CONTENTMENT as to not want any more.

    1. There will be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Fed is better than Đoković, despite all the slams he could have won after it. I don’t have any because despite all the disadvantadges he has, he was only one point away of defeating the Nº1 at 38, embarrasing for any younger player and specially the supposed all-time great (based on inflated stats by playing alone all this time).

  11. Thanks, Jonathan. For me, the SW19 final loss in 2019 was the worst thing to experience as a Fed fan. Seeing him lose this year wasn’t so much. We knew he had a serious injury.
    My guess is he will play doubles with Rafa at the Laver Cup and then his last tournament will be Basel.
    Women’s tennis is more interesting these days.

  12. It’s so depressing watching Novak racking up all these titles because of the longest weak era I can remember. Not a single great player was born after 1989 until now, maybe we get lucky with Sinner and Alcaraz but it’s too late.

    Regarding the article, I think this is the end I’ve feared. 2023 is just too far away, playing Wimbledon at 42 may be asking too much and I don’t want to see him lose at 1st or 2nd round.
    Probably he’ll come back next year for the Laver Cup, just to retire in Basel.

  13. Far too much negative depression on this site.
    Just watch Sinner and Casper Rudd.Absolutely swinging.Plus Zrerev and Tsitsipas.
    The future of tennis is bright.
    Just so sick of people consigning themselves to a future of bloody Djokovic or his clone the equally ghastly Medvedev.

  14. I personally feel that Fed has done enough.
    He is the greatest player ever,style ,grace and an utter determination to win.
    But,Enough is enough.One final year perhaps of exhibitions,givin

  15. After watching the ATP finals and Djoker being comprehensible beaten by Zrerev who then went on to destroy Medevedev,feel we are seeing that tennis is alive and well.

  16. i watched the final too. I was wondering if Medvedev had an injury. He seemed very flat. Lately Zverev plays with a calmer demeanor. I think it’s helping his game. New #1?

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