John McEnroe never goes unnoticed. The American, number 1 in the world of rackets in 1980, does not lose the effervescence that he showed in his time as an electric and successful player. With the microphone on or off He says what he thinks, without a filter, although he often crosses limits or expresses things that others do not want to hear. In the last few hours, from Paris, where he is fulfilling his usual role as TV tennis commentator, the New Yorker was pessimistic about the future of Roger Federerwho has not competed since July last year, at Wimbledon.
“Roger said he will play in Basel [NdR: el suizo anunció que competiría en el certamen de su ciudad natal, en octubre próximo]. I have a feeling, although I may be wrong, that he will say goodbye at home. Unless he feels good, then maybe he’ll try the Australian Open and then, who the hell knows, he’ll turn back the clock. We will see what ends up happening”, declared the winner of 77 individual titles, seven of them Grand Slam, in the Italian newspaper The Republic.
McEnroe was always very appreciative of the Swiss legend’s career. Before, during and after the successes of the winner of 20 Grand Slam trophies. What’s more: he is usually one of the captains during the Laver Cup, the exhibition competition organized by Federer with European players and the rest of the world (the other is the Swedish Bjorn Borg). But this does not mean that his admiration for Roger clouds his vision and does not allow him to make an in-depth analysis of the current situation of the former leader of the ranking.
“My idol was always Rod Laver, but Federer is one of a kind”, sentenced the left-hander, a member of a golden age. Of course, the same nostalgia felt by McEnroe is assumed by fans of the great Roger, who will turn 41 in August. Federer is experiencing a delicate and unprecedented situation in his career, in which he had avoided severe injuries: in recent years he had to enter the operating room four times to undergo surgery for a damaged meniscus in his right knee.
Federer had announced that his intention was to return “in the European summer” and participate in the Laver Cup, from September 23 to 25 (after the US Open), at the O2 Arena in London. However, his agenda already has an official circuit date. The Swiss Indoors Basel, scheduled from October 24 to 30, is not just any event for Federer. Ten times champion (plus another five finals), it is the first major tournament in which he began to approach professional players, being a ball catcher.
“I am waiting for the approval of the doctors. I feel like a racehorse wanting to run. I hope to start playing in the summer. I really want to go home in the evening after a hard day of training and be completely exhausted”, Federer declared in a report in Walk Store from Switzerland.
During the same interview, Federer told what his current routines are like: “Like with a car, you have to turn a thousand screws until the engine runs smoothly. Today, the mobilization, stretching and warm-up in the morning last about 45 minutes. Then we headed to the field. A warm-up follows there, for half an hour. After that I eat, stretch, strengthen my ankles with straps, then warm up again, do gymnastics and explosive speed drills. Before finally playing, I took care of my body for two and a half hours.”
Although the professional tennis circuit continues to function and the appearances of young and explosive talents such as the Spanish Carlos Alcaraz or the Danish Holger Rune help the public to have new incentives, the absence of Federer continues to leave a space impossible to fill. Fans continue to dream of being able to enjoy, at least a little more, the magic of the Helvetian.