“Going to be Very Difficult”: Top Journalist on Roger Federer’s Comeback After 13 Months

Published 02/25/2021, 2:33 AM EST
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a forehand in his third round match against Taylor Fritz of the United States during day five of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)


Celebrated tennis writer, columnist, and pundit, Steve Flink, has predicted a tough comeback road for the 20-time Grand Slam champion, Roger Federer.

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The current World Number 5 has been away from tennis since last year’s Australian Open as he underwent knee surgery and took an extended break to rest and recuperate.

For the first time since he started playing Grand Slam tennis, Federer didn’t feature in the men’s draw at Melbourne Park as he pulled out of the tournament, claiming he was short of requisite fitness to compete against the best.

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Roger Federer will mark his comeback at the ATP Doha event in March

He has since set a comeback date, saying he would return to action at the ATP Doha event in March. However, going by Flink’s assessment in a live session online, Federer might not find it easy to straightaway find his groove on his return.

The veteran tennis writer said that the Swiss has not had a feel of competition for 13 months, which won’t make it any easier for him to hit his straps in his comeback event.

Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts in his fourth round match against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during day seven of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

To add more context to his argument, Flink said that the last injury break that Federer took was for six months.

‘RF’ won the 2017 Australian Open after returning from his last injury break

Flink was quick to add that the Swiss won the Australian Open on his return in 2017, breaking back into the Top-10.

“It would be interesting to see what kind of form Federer can show when he comes back next month,” Flink said, stressing that it’s not easy picking up where one left off in the cutthroat world of contemporary men’s tennis.

Pointing out that he is “four years older” since his comeback win in 2017 and that the fact that “he’s been gone more than twice as long” (considering his last injury break), Flink said it is “going to be very difficult for Roger to get acclimated again”.

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He added that “all the knee surgeries” would test Federer’s 39-year-old body even more on his return to competition.

However, the revered tennis writer was also of the opinion that the relatively lightweight ATP event will help the Swiss superstar to “ease his way back” into play.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

863 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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