In a season where he aims better results, Roger Federer is facing perhaps his toughest test at the stage of his tennis career. Bleacher Report tennis writer Joe Kennard thinks Federer could be facing the the same kind of scenario he went through in 2013.
The 34-year old Federer surprised everybody by announcing on Tuesday that he had undergone surgery to repair a torn meniscus on his knee.
The Swiss stated he suffered the injury a day after his semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open, barring him from competing at Dubai and Rotterdam.
According to Kennard, the injury is surely a big blow to Federer’s campaign this season as he looks to contend not only at the three remaining Grand Slam tournaments, but also in the Olympics, where he’s slated to represent Switzerland in men’s singles, doubles and mixed-doubles competitions.
The Bleacher Report tennis analyst further stressed Federer could be heading on the same path he took in 2013, which was arguably the worst season in his career (he finished no.6 in the rankings with one calendar title).
Moreover, Kennard worries the struggles Federer might encounter coming off his rehab could prompt him to end his career much sooner than expected.
“Of greater consequence is how this situation impacts Federer’s long-term future. At 34, he only has a handful of seasons left before walking off into the sunset. If he struggles to regain strength in his knee or can’t move as freely, his ability to remain a top contender will be severely hindered.
As it is, he’s already struggling to keep pace with Djokovic (like every other player). Any sort of reduced effectiveness could spur him into retiring sooner.”
He stressed, unlike Federer’s back problem three years ago, knee injury is a lot harder to overcome, just ask Rafael Nadal.
Still, Kennard doesn’t rule out Federer’s fighting spirit. With all the battles he won, the Swiss might prove his critics wrong once again.
“If anyone can bounce back and return from injury, it’s a tireless worker like Federer. But there’s no denying this obstacle will be a delicate one to clear.”
Will Federer struggle anew for the remainder of the season? Or will he rise to the occasion once again?
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