Roger Federer

Will Roger Federer Play Again in 2021?

The Swiss Has Withdrawn From Toronto & Cincinnati Due To Injury

News broke yesterday that Roger Federer had withdrawn from both Toronto and Cincinnati due to an ongoing knee problem.

The announcement didn't come as a huge surprise to many, given that the Swiss had never confirmed his participation in either tournament, he was simply on the entry list due to his ranking and the events mandatory status in the calendar.

It does however raise the question of whether Federer will play again in 2021?

Where Will Federer Play Next?

fed croatia

Since his loss to Hurkacz in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, Federer promptly withdrew from the Olympics and since then there's been little news on what his schedule is for the rest of the year.

Because Federer had never confirmed his participation at the Rogers Cup or Western and Southern Open, a statement via his social media wasn't made.

That means other than the setback with the knee that he cited when he announced he would not be in Tokyo, there is no further update on his status.

So how far off a comeback is the 20 time Grand Slam Champion?

Post-Wimbledon, Federer holidayed in Croatia, visiting the Ivan Ljubicic tennis academy on the Croatian Island of Lošinj where he took part in some light drills with his daughters and Thierry Henry.

For fans, it's positive to see Fed on the court with a racquet in his hand, but can he practice any harder than this or is more rehab required?

Based on the timings and the lack of news, I think the US Open is a bridge too far, but the Laver Cup seems a possibility given the easier schedule and the option of doubles which is lighter on the body. 

Should he play in Boston, it's then a case of seeing whether he fancies a pop at the indoor swing. There's no Basel but there are still several indoor events in Europe such as Antwerp, Vienna, Moscow and Paris.

When do you guys think Federer will next play? Will it be in 2021 or will he try again in 2022 before hanging up the racquet?

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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54 Comments

  1. My heart says he’ll play the US but I think realistically we are looking at the Laver Cup.

    Heartbreaking that Basel is cancelled again – I had tickets! I’d say Paris will be an option and then rehab/fitness for 2022 – whether he’ll go to Australia with the Covid limitations is unknown but hw is not down and out by a long way.

    Get well soon my champ!

    1. With the time going by it’s rather less than more probable for Fed to come back to the tour anytime. The pause is getting longer, no good wins so far, chances for a good appearance at big tournaments are rather dropping than not. Nobody knows, what happens with Covid but it’s rather certain, Australia will be under heavy lockdown again.
      Just like for Thiem, the best possible scenario for Fed would be RLC and if no setback with the knee, then maybe Indian Wells in October.
      My guess about Basel is, it’s just cancelled because of not expecting, Fed could play there and have some success. Basel has no sense, if it’s not Fed’s tournament.
      Fed can still do a lot in tennis, but no more winning big tournaments, so what’s the sense for him to travel, train hard, go the risk with the knee and exit early?
      Indian Wells is better than US Open, because it’s 3-setter and at least a kind of farewell to this tournament, which is one of HIS tournaments and Tommy is director there, whatever the outcome. I also don’t see any sense in Fed playing then Shanghai or Paris only to “mark” his presence on tour.

      1. “My guess about Basel is, it’s just cancelled because of not expecting, Fed could play there and have some success. Basel has no sense, if it’s not Fed’s tournament.”
        But Basel cancelled really early, even when they would have thought Fed stood a good chance of appearing, surely?

  2. We’ll see. A bit difficult to decide the future. As long as Roger doesn’t give up, we don’t need to either.

    1. What means “giving up”? I may quote here Bresnik “Success is worth every effort but not every price.” The price here could be putting health in danger for his life after tennis, which can be still life with some kind of tennis (exhibitions, coaching kids or promising Swiss youngsters, still travelling and present on tour in the new role, in which he would be that perfect as in the role of the tour leader and still having contacts with fans. What’s wrong in such a concept?

  3. Hello.
    I guess he’ll celebrate his 40th birthday first.  🙂

    Then, I hope he’ll train as well as he can and play one round or two at  US open – Laver Cup and maybe Indian Wells in October (managed by his friend Tommy Haas), if his knee recovers ?

    Otherwise, a few indoor events before the end of the season or a break until AO 2022 if covid allows to organize it with an audience 

    Why not  the Hopman Cup with Belinda Bencic (which I read could take place in Europe in 2022) ?

    Everything is possible…

  4. Do we know for certain that the reason is the knee, Jonathan? I mean, is that what Roger’s (team has) told the organizers?

    In any case, if the knee really is the problem – then it might be time for him to retire; for his own good. It’s not what I want but watching him unable to play the tennis he can (because he can’t move) is worse. I mean, the main reason one watches the Fed is to see him play tennis the way he does (and nobody else can).

    As for his legacy – there’s nothing to worry about there. He’ll remain the gold standard for tennis aesthetics, consistency, and fair play for a long long time.

    1. Let face the music Its been a great run Roger and we loved every minute of it Watching you play so effortlessly for many years was a marvel to all. Unfortunately ,time is the ultimate winner over everyone. It just gets harder and harder. Winning tournaments is a combination of many factors including luck. The mountain just gets steeper as time moves on. I say take a victory lap and do goodbye texhibtion tour our next year . Your grand slam title count may be surpassed but no one can touch the class you brought to the sport.

  5. Can’t see him getting too excited about a bunch of indoor events with no slam or WTF on the horizon, even if there are a few Masters tournaments sprinkled about. In which case, it could very well be a whole two years since the initial surgery for him to be completely injury-free and able to play without any constraints, by which time he’ll be 40-41 and with no chance of being close to his best again, regardless of how talented he is.
    Hard to see what the point in it all is at the moment; surely it can’t just be ‘for the love of playing’, can it? It’s a bit of a mystery right now, that’s for sure, but I’m sure, as usual, his next move will raise a few eyebrows.

  6. As much as Fed loves to play tennis it can’t be fun to play badly and get roundly beaten in matches. It is concerning that his knee problem is ongoing. I would be surprised if he plays tourneys outside of the Laver Cup this fall. The remaining hope is that his knee allows him to train properly and to play well in 2022. Otherwise I think it will be the end of a fabulous career.

  7. I wish he will consider playing the US Open. Unfortunately his team does not communicate what the real problem is, therefore we keep on speculating. Could he or his team please tell us about his chances to play the last GS?

  8. He’s Federer – he’s thrown every possible financial and medical and tactical and emotional resource anyone could hope to throw at these surgeries and the ongoing rehabilitation.

    If it isn’t better over after 19 months -and at age 40 – there’s nothing available left.

    His last presser at Wimbledon was a startlingly candid (and typically very intelligent) admission that his body simply will not respond to all he’s hoped it would …and that age has put his full recovery and his unprecedented repertoire of abilities out of reach.

    If Federer doesn’t play the US Open I think that’s as good as a retirement admission. What options could possibly be left? What hasn’t he tried?

    Unless he’s hopelessly and obsessively lost on a return to greatness – unlikely for his good judgement, I think he’s done.

    Knowing how careful he is about decisions – he probably wants to make sure he’s not letting his emotions get the best of him. So time is his friend in that regard.

    A long vacation with his loved ones will remind him of how good post tennis life is so he can make this most grave and difficult life decision in a stable and hopeful frame of mind.

    I honestly think his next big decision will be one or two smaller tournaments – maybe Laver – and then the retirement announcement. All planned carefully in advance. As usual.

    1. Very balanced speculation, Albert.

      I don’t think at all that he wants a “return to lost greatness” – he’s said many times that he hasn’t much use for a “fairytale ending” (which is why I suspect even the 6-0 loss at Wimbledon won’t factor into any decision about retirement). What he DOES want is to be able to play like he knows he CAN. Not being able to do so made him especially despondent against FAA at Halle and though he kept his word and didn’t let his shoulders droop, it was obvious that he was feeling much the same way during the third set against Hurkacz.

      So, since playing like he can is fully contingent on the knee, the real question is – has it really flared up again? Or is he just being cautious? It’s why I asked above if anyone knows whether he’s ACTUALLY SAID ANYTHING. Because, as Jonathan says, he hadn’t confirmed his participation. Also, given his age and longevity, I don’t believe they’re compulsory – which means he’d have been able to withdraw *without* having to give a reason.

      1. You have a good point, MKA. What *exactly* has *Roger* officially said? Are other people making assumptions based on what he said about withdrawing from the Olympics? After all, Toronto and Cincy were never officially on his schedule.

        But it probably *is* the knee, I suppose. As you say, it might just be a matter of caution, or it could be that there’s a more serious problem, but I doubt he’ll tell us.

      2. “…playing like he can is fully contingent on the knee,…”.
        Not only on the knee. It’s also about wear and tear over 20+ years and the age. These factors were present also before the knee injury/surgery, but now they are weighing more. His technique has allowed for longevity, reducing the need for movement. But the best hand and brain skills cannot compensate for deficits in movement.
        If there is no setback with the knee, he can still play US Open, with the Olympic rule in mind “the presence and the effort counts more then the result” or with everything else in mind 🙂
        In our speculation we may be victims of fan logic. Fed may decide anything anytime for any reason. To speculate about what, when and why is normal for fans but does not bring us much ahead 😉

    2. Albert, well said! Roger always said, if Mirka is done travelling then I will pack it in. Or, if my body says that’s it, then he’s retiring. And yes, he has been very thoughtful and careful with his planned comeback.
      I agree with everything you said.
      Interesting that it is his knees that end it all (probably). And his biggest rival with the “bad” knees his whole career (supposedly) has no knee problems of late. If he can’t move the way he wants then we have to let him ride off into the sunset.
      HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROGER! He is so loved everywhere.

  9. I think he’ll play the Laver Cup and maybe another tournament (Indian Wells or Paris) just to avoid another huge break before the Australian Open.
    Basel will be his last tournament, I hope he can compete in Wimbledon before that.

  10. Happy 40th birthday, Roger Federer! Hope he’s enjoying it with his family. Looking forward to his return, whether in New York or elsewhere.

  11. I believe Roger knows he will never win another major. Perhaps Nadal and Djokovic will not either. There are many young strong players and I think all of the big 3 are in a rapid state of decline. If Nadal or Djokovic do not win the 2021 U S Open or a major in 2022 I believe there opportunity is also over. They seem as injury prone as Roger is at 39 yrs old.
    I do not see any of the current younger players winning 20 majors as these 3 gentleman did.

  12. Off topic – to Shapo fans here (I’m too, kind of, but only for his nice SBH). ATP website: “Shapo In Toronto: ‘I’m Becoming A Really Big Threat”
    Shapo H2H vs.:
    Djokovic – 0:7
    Nadal – 1:3
    Federer – 0:1
    Thiem -0:3
    How did he made Top10???

    1. Well, he’s Canadian, so I suppose it makes sense to promote him. But …

      Because he managed to play and beat a number of lesser players (and maybe avoid the “big guns” due to injuiry/absence etc.)?

      1. Does it matter so much for fans, that Federer is Swiss? Where come most of Federer fans from? Not from Switzerland. Fed is not a God in Switzerland just like Thiem is not in Austria. These are both ski countries and tennis is not very popular.
        Does it matter so much (for Canadians?), Shapo is a Canadian citizen? He lives in Canada and is Canadian citizen because living (as tennis pro) in Israel would make him hard to advance. He would need first to go through military service. So Canada is his country of choice. If it makes sense to promote Shapo as Canadier? Do you promote Federer because he is Swiss? No, you do, because he is Federer. The same with Shapo. I’m Pole, but if Shapo plays my compatriot Hurkacz, I cheer for Shapo, becaiuse of his game, not nationality.
        I believe, Shapo will find his way to beat Big3 (before they disappear) but he misses somehow winning ability against them – maybe some weakness under pressure and missing experience? But some in his age have better H2H records against Big3. Still he has better H2H against upcoming top – Zverev, Tsitsipas. Medvedev, Rublev. This is promising, because Big3 are going to fall very soon – Fed is sadly just done, Nadal is the next follower, Djoker can start falling next year.

      2. You promote him when he’s playing a tournament in his home country, though – it’s the logical thing to do. And never mind that his home country is generally more interested in ice hockey and other sports.

  13. Great idea PRF for discussion! Shall we name which are the slams (if we can get to 20, it would be great😃) we think he should or could have won? I’m sure there should be a longer list but off my head – 2008, 2019 Wimbledon, 2009, 2010, 2011 US Opens (even though wasn’t in final in 2010,2011, he shouldn’t have lost to Djokovic and would have won the final if he had beaten Djokovic in semi). Over to you guys! Hope this won’t bring up painful wounds that some of you may still be trying to get over😂

    1. I think, Jonathan can deliver the full list in seconds (if interested). This does not change anything real, but can give fans some fun 🙂

    1. Well, if we’re going for that, then 2018 Wimbledon, but for his hand injury 🙂 And USO 2015 (I think that was the year he made the final?) – especially if there hadn’t been the rain delay. And … coulda, shoulda …

    2. Rather Australian Open 2016, where his opponent in the final would have been Murray 🙂
      Well, we are probably not coming close to 40, so … we can simply assume, every Fed’s slam title counts x2, just because … they were soooo big wins 😉

      1. Or we compare tennis with figure ice skating, where you get points for sporting performance and another points for artistic impression 🙂

  14. I am not a doubles player but whenever Roger decides to stop playing singles and I hope not soon, he can do a lot for the game of doubles by competing in doubles as he has the skills for that also. Can you imagine what a team he would be with a young big serving athlete like Kyrgios who now seems more mature and who has been respectful of Roger. I am sure they could win a few Grand Slam doubles titles and still give us time with Roger.

    1. You think about your own fun not about Fed’s fun. He can have fun playing doubles with Rafa at Laver Cup, not in competition.
      If you continue this kind of thinking, what would be next? Mixed with Belinda until 50 years old and then? Wheelchair until 60+? What next?
      Kyrgios was always, but now declared to play for fun of crowds only, so he is closer to retirement than Fed.
      Doubles is nice to watch. Nothing for Fed. He can still play anything in RLC or any exhibition before big crowds, not doubles in small tournaments on side courts. Not a peRFect idea 😉

    2. Ho won’t do it, but it will be so nice if he plays some Slams with Rafa.
      Definitely more rating than the whole tour.

  15. Hi all! Well… we can’t know for sure when Fed will play again this year but everyone has strong hopes for Laver Cup (if not USO). I happen to hold with a friend two multisession tickets for this year’s Laver Cup in Boston but I am not sure we will be able to travel to the US with the pandemic still roaring and the travel restrictions it induces… Would anyone here be interested in them?
    I am sure Jonathan will be kind enough to put us in contact 😊
    And here’s to seeing Fed up and winning very very soon!!

  16. That’s very kind of you, Alex. I can’t cross the border, so I’m out. Hopefully someone can buy them.
    Toronto is very hot and humid this year. A lot of players suffered yesterday.
    Out west we are heading for another heat wave. Bloody hell I tell ya.

    1. Don’t make the hell guilty. It’s just you. And me. And everyone on Earth. It’s going to kill us all before Covid could. I want to ground a betting service about what element will make the so called “human civilization”! fall to the ground. Covid is not fast enough with it’s mutations. Ant there is no vaccine against climate collapse in sight. I have no crystal ball or something. I’m only observing a little piece of nature, where I live since 20 years. How many birds species and first of all insects disappeared during last 10 years. The first 10 years of my living here were still quite “normal”.
      And after having destroyed the Earth that deep, humans still expect a kind of “back to normality”. Mass travelling again. Mass culture again. This is their normality.
      Don’t plan beyond next moth. You can be impressed, how fast it can go.

    1. Seems to be happy without tennis. And the pressure to “come back stronger”. Well, with 40 one is just an adult man, no more interested in rats races. Time to enjoy the complete life and freedom of doing this or that 🙂 No more with strict playbook in the pocket.

  17. Happy birthday to Roger🥰
    Does anyone know who the little girl is?Almost dwarfed by the huge racket.
    I presume it is one of his daughters but doesn’t really look like them.

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