Roger Federer outlines plans for 2021 tennis return after second knee surgery

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    Roger Federer says he felt he had little option but to have surgery on his knee in February to fix an issue that had been troubling him. Just a few days after playing Rafael Nadal in an exhibition match in South Africa, Federer announced he had undergone surgery on his knee.

    Federer earmarked a return for the grass-court season but that did not materialise due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Then last month, the Swiss star revealed he’d had an ‘additional quick arthroscopic procedure’ which would rule him out for the season.

    Federer’s sights are now focused on being ready for the start of the 2021 season.

    The 38-year-old’s return will be carefully overseen by long-time fitness coach Pierre Paganini.

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    And speaking in an interview with Swiss TV station SRF, Federer says he is looking forward to getting back to work.

    “I was unhappy with my knee long before South Africa so after the Match for Africa, I just felt like I had to do something now. Then the second time I was forced to do it,” he said.

    “I’ve only played once since South Africa, I hope that I’ll still know to play when I return.

    “I’m now looking at a 20-week training block. It is a long way. But I’m ready for it.”

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    On Monday, Federer unveiled a new shoe with On called ‘The Roger’.

    The 20-time Grand Slam champion took questions from fans and confirmed he still intends to play in the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics next year and commented on the prospect of playing without fans due to health and safety guidelines.

    “My goal is to play Tokyo 2021. It’s a wonderful city. I met my wife in my first Olympics in 2000. It’s a special event for me,” said Federer.

    “I had two surgeries and I can’t hit at the moment, but I’m very confident I will be totally ready for 2021.

    “I do miss playing in front of the fans, no doubt. Now, I think if tennis comes back we know it won’t be in a normal way where we can have full crowds yet.

    “So naturally we wouldn’t be able to interact with the fans like we used to, taking pictures, selfies, signing autographs.

    “Of course, I miss it but I think right now we’re going through a period where we’ve got to be patient and hopefully starting next year at some point we’ll see each other more often and things will hopefully be somewhere back to normal. We’ve got to be patient.”

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