The Federer enigma


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For the semifinal of the Australian Open, or even earlier, something was wrong with Roger Federer . Slow movements that Novak Djokovic took advantage of without problems. On February 19, a few days after celebrating the charity match with Nadal «Match for Africa», the Swiss announced: « My right knee has been bothering me for a while . I decided to have an arthroscopy ». And he said goodbye to tennis until the grass campaign. The coronavirus came later to remove Wimbledon's target in return. What was going to mean a step back in his set-up, is now a relief since from his surroundings, in the words of his coach Severin Luthi, indicated this week that the knee is not going as well as it was supposed .

It was Federer himself who slipped in a chat with Gustavo Kuerten at the end of May who had not returned to the slopes, while Djokovic or Rafael Nadal held their first training sessions after confinement. He had no motivation, he said. «I don't see a reason to train again I think it will be a long time before we can compete again. I don't miss tennis that much. And less, one without an audience. This Saturday, Luthi's words: "After six weeks, the injury went backwards" .

An extension for your knee that can become a relief, a few more days to refine the joint. This is stated by Toni Nadal, who admitted that these months without tennis have mainly benefited veterans whose physicists demand a slower pace to get ready than those of the twentysomethings.

But the relief of not yet starting the competition also hides many pitfalls. Precisely because it is the body that imposes its criteria. “On a physical level, inactivity has made him relive old ailments. Hopefully this will help him play more years, "said Francis Roig about his ward Nadal. In Federer's case, the lack of filming still creates more puzzles. Especially since also plays against a biological clock that goes faster and faster . He turns 39 on August 8, with more than twenty seasons accumulated in his legs; His stay on the tennis planet was extended due to his style of play and his careful planning of training sessions and calendar. But this was not always enough for him.

Memory of 2016

As I recall, the injury in 2016 on the left knee. He also underwent surgery in February. He admitted that the five weeks had been great for him being with the family. But the return was complex.

He activated his legs in Monte Carlo and Rome, found that the knee was doing well on the grass in Stuttgart and in Halle, but the body lacked more to endure five sets of Wimbledon for fifteen days. The defeat against Raonic, symbolized by a fall on the grass of the Cathedral, ended his course. The knee needed more. Six more months . However, Federer is always a mystery. After that stumble in London, he did not play again until Australia 2017. He conquered the title. Also that of Indian Wells, and Miami; and already with more filming, those of Halle and Wimbledon; and Shanghai and Basel.

Striking were their absences from clay for three years . His return in 2019 was taken as a kind of farewell tour, always pending the Swiss watch of his career. This year it was not going to be stained red either, but the Covid-19 added other decisions to its calendar.

After a few weeks very active on social networks, with a challenge in a snowy pediment, his idea of ​​uniting the Male and female circuits and focused on raising awareness and helping those most in need of the coronavirus, little has been known about his family confinement in Switzerland. In recent days, he appeared as the highest-paid athlete of the year ahead of Messi and Cristiano, and he is dealing with a conflict with environmentalists on account of his new home, which seems to impede the public passage to a lake. , and with that knee that doesn't seem to be as good as it should be.

With no competitions in sight, with the US Open in late August in question, the 4th in the world is in no rush to return to breathless tennis in the stands . But the tic tac haunts him. Without Wimbledon or Games, it is a "lost" year for him, as he is close to quarantine, and a year of maturity gained for younger rivals. Opportunities for expanding honors are running out. And the knee is not ready. Time will solve the Federer enigma.

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