Roger Federer

Roger Federer’s Predicted 2022 Season

What does the Year of the Tiger have in store for the Swiss maestro?

Tennis has an inherent air of unpredictability and surprise. Breakthrough stars that were previously unheard of can win slams.

Matches that seem to be going one way can turn on a dime and favour the other player.

Veterans of the tour who have previously enjoyed little success, can have a sudden improvement in form and climb the rankings.

As Federer fans look ahead, 2022 has the same ambiguous quality. This year became a test at what level, and for how long, Federer would continue to play.

After having two operations on his right knee Federer’s 2020 season was cut short, only playing the Australian Open.

In 2021 he returned to the tour at Doha, taking a few wins here and there, later achieving a decent run at Wimbledon.

federer paris fashion week

A third knee surgery has only added further concern about how many more times we’ll get to see Federer play.

However, there are some clues that may guide us in piecing together what his 2022 schedule might look like.

The biggest priority for Federer will likely be getting ready for Wimbledon, as it was this year. It is of course his favourite tournament while being the home of his first major and the event that every tennis fan associates him with.

After losing to Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals 6-0, it is probable that Federer will not want to end his time there with such a result, and put in a better performance.

This year Federer was initially hampered by lack of match experience. In Doha and Geneva especially, his movement seemed up to the task but his unforced error count was unusually high.

I suspect there will be an earlier emphasis on competition, sharpening Federer’s game to the best it can be in high-pressure scenarios that only tournaments can provide for.

Though it is still not known when Federer will be able to return, before the surgery he was looking ahead to his grass-court preparation, signing up for Halle next year.

If Federer does recover for the spring, Stuttgart and Halle are bound to be on Federer’s calendar before Wimbledon.

The second thing to note is that if Federer’s body does not allow him to compete at a high level, he will likely transition to exhibition play.

After making a surprise appearance at the Laver Cup, Jim Courier interviewed Federer:

“We didn’t even know you were coming to Boston. We know about the sneak attacks when you get into the net on the second serve, when was this sneak attack launched?”

“Not too long ago. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it and then we thought we’d keep it real nice and quiet that I’m coming, because then maybe…the teams and everybody would be even more pumped up that I made the trip. I just didn’t think I was going to make it with the crutches and all that, but the reception I received and everybody was so upbeat…I’m really happy I made it.”

Federer clearly still has a zeal for the tournament he helped create and still uses big events like these to connect with his fans.

Even if he’s not able to perform on the tour, exhibition tennis gives him the opportunity to reaffirm relationships with other players, express his competitive edge and play the sport he loves.

In another interview last month Federer stated, “I still want to play exhibitions down the road”, with events like the Match in Africa providing a big part of his wider charitable support and philanthropy.

Moreover, how could Federer turn down a recent offer from Nadal, to play doubles at the Laver Cup next year?

nadal laver cup 2022

Far from abandoning tennis altogether, Federer will continue to be a visual treat, either in-person or broadcast. 

Sadly, not even Federer can escape the passage of time and the rigours of the professional tour. A lengthy career and deep runs in tournaments have clearly taken their toll on his body.

Despite this, his love for the game seems ever-lasting, and fans should cherish the spectacle of watching Federer for as long as he continues to play.

Alex Nulliah

My name is Alex Nulliah and I am a freelance writer from Bath. I enjoy writing about tennis, International Relations and anything else which takes my interest. At Exeter University I took a BA in History and an MA in Applied Security Strategy. I love playing tennis.

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13 Comments

    1. Acc eventually turning down Rafa’s offer (and several’s dream coming true): He can’t. Unless eventually for physical reasons of course.

  1. I’m thinking the opposite, that last year he almost came back too soon. It felt like ages of course and he delayed it even more after initially planning to play the Aus Open but the knee was clearly not up to it.

    This time I can’t see him taking any sort of chances, so even Wimbledon seems like a very long shot considering he’s still on crutches, it’s only 8 months away.

  2. TBH I don’t believe to be possible for Federer, even in the best possible scenario of rehab and recovery, to reach once more, even for grass only, the level he needs to have fun (and fans to have fun). And because it must be a rational calculation (given what remains in his body for the time after tennis – I mean after “ATP Tour tennis – must be now the highest priority), while it would not be reasonable to exclude Wimbledon 2022 right now, it’s obvious, he must start to look for other solutions, like exhibitions, maybe doubles not only with Rafa in London, but maybe on tour? I would give him a nice chance of being competitive on slam level in doubles (with Stan?) and mixed (with Belinda?). Adding RLC and some others exhibitions would be still a big deal for him and for the tennis world.
    Fedal doubles in London is more than obvious, assuming both don’t wear crutches at this time anymore 🙂 Whatever their form would be, is meaningless. It will be always a big spectacle 🙂

    1. Is this so simple (because 2022 the old ranking should be back), that he behaves only points from Halle and Wimbledon 2021? This would mean 370 points, which is just good to stay at 180-190. Or will protected ranking make him be seeded independently of the current ATP ranking?

      1. Hello, any updates to this? How would federer have any chance at any tournament when he isnt seeded, I know he can play well but a bad draw with the current level on tour is pretty much a death sentence on any tournament, look at murray for example.

      2. @Numair Khan
        Let’s wait for Jonathan`s comment – he will know better about the ranking.
        I agree, with expected low ranking Federer would have no chances in any tournament. The comparison with Murray is right. He always has a “blockbuster” in first round and it’s the only round he has chance to win, even against top player (almost defeating Tsitsipas of late). But he cannot recover physically until the next match and looses.
        I don’t think this kind of competition to be interesting for Federer. I expect him to play exhibitions (if knee allows) or – if the knee is perfect – doubles or mixed in majors.

  3. Several interesting comments in that GC article (Ilinked, if you missed it, at “another interview last month”, above). Just before the exhibitions comment, he says “I am not going to be the one that’s just going to stick around because I want to stick around.”

    So I think it all comes down to the knee, and there are too many factors, and too much we don’t know, to even sensibly guess what might happen next. How many surgeries has Andy had, for instance? There have been times we’ve all said, he’s done for, and then somethings clicks in the body that didn’t before, and here he is again – not winning GS, granted. So for Roger, in some ways, 3 surgeries sounds like look, it’s not possible that it can get better at this point – but we don’t know. We don’t know what the issue is, or what the docs think happened/didn’t happen in the previous surgeries. (Nor should we, really.) And so we don’t know what the potential upside is.

    I think one of the things that’s interesting to me is that in this GQ article, Roger really seems to be coming to a place of acceptance – quarters is not a final, but it’s also not bad. I don’t want to stick around just to stick around – I want to be able to do exhos. Maybe that will actually free him up to play more freely – if his knee can be solid enough for him to get the match play in. I was struck this summer by feeling the way I did when he switched racquets, only this time he was switching knees. IF he can play enough to make this new knee so familiar that he doesn’t have to think about it, then I think yes, he can still potentially have a few amazing runs. We just don’t know that yet. Maybe it’s not going work, and we’re actually at the end & just don’t know it – but we don’t know that either.

    It was … painful to see him still on crutches at Laver Cup. I do hope, if he can’t come back “for good”, he can come back for a bit.

    1. We are allowed to speculate to our own feeling and wishes, but Fed is once more on the crossroads and is mature enough to know, any his decision can have short life but he is going himself to have another 40 (or more) years of life and still a lot of fun of life ahead of him, be it slams, exhos, family, coaching, whatever … And we may be still excited what is to come 🙂

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