Two years ago, Roger Federer was one point away from a ninth Wimbledon crown, with two match points on serve against Novak Djokovic. As many times before, the Serb produced a wonderful comeback and defeated Roger in five thrilling sets after nearly five hours of an epic battle.
Much has changed since that encounter, and Federer will return to Wimbledon this June with only a couple of tournaments on his legs since last year’s Australian Open. The Swiss lost to Novak in the semi-final in Melbourne and underwent knee surgery a few weeks later, requiring another in May and decided to skip the rest of the season.
Working hard on his game and from the beginning of October, Federer was shaping his game until March, when he returned to action in Doha, competing for the first time in 13 months. Roger defeated Daniel Evans in the second round before blowing a match point against Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarterfinals.
The Swiss took more time off the pitch and will have a tight schedule starting next week, entering Geneva, Roland Garros, Halle and Wimbledon, where he wants to play at his best. Talking to the press ahead of his opening match, Dominic Thiem talked about the comeback of Roger Federer and his chances at Wimbledon this year.
Thiem discusses Roger Federer’s goals
“It’s amazing to have Roger Federer with us. I’m also looking forward to seeing him play Wimbledon and Roland again… If he is physically 100%, I guess he can still get a lot in the tournament he’s in,” Dominic Thiem mentioned.
In fact, Dominic Thiem is one of the few next-gen players to enjoy a positive head-to-head record against the Swiss Maestro. In the seven times that they have played against each other, the Austrian has won five matches. Their most recent encounter was in a round-robin match at the ATP World Tour Finals in 2019.
The Austrian won the contest 7-5,7-5. “I think so. Why not? I don’t think he would play otherwise. He’s too good… I guess if he knew he wasn’t playing for the big titles anymore, he wouldn’t be playing.
So I expect him, especially at Wimbledon, to be able to go very, very far and also play for the title”. In a recent interview, Federer insisted that he wanted to give back to people from all sectors that had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I feel like I had to be a bit older to do this, at around 40 years old,” Federer said. “I’ve been to maybe 60 countries. I live in Switzerland now and I will continue to live in Switzerland. I know everyone’s hurting right now, it’s a good time for me to be able to step up to the plate and help the country as we’re hopefully going to open again.”