Roger Federer says he will know only by April or May this year if he can make a return to the sport of tennis.
Federer has not played a competitive tennis match since his Wimbledon 2021 quarterfinal exit to Hubert Hurkacz.
And after that loss, the 40-year-old star underwent knee surgery that ruled him out of the remainder of the season.
“I want to come back strong and give it everything that I have,” the Swiss superstar said on Wednesday.
“To give you a little bit of an update. I have a very interesting and important next few months ahead of me. I think I will know a lot more by April-May.
“The drive is still there. I am motivated to do my work. I’m back in the gym again tomorrow,” Federer told one of his sponsors, Credit Suisse in a video conference.
“I’m working as hard as I’m allowed to so it’s still good times even though it’s a little bit slow. I would love to do way more but the doctors and everybody’s holding me back a little bit.”
A comeback at this stage of his career would be quite something. But that being said, it remains to be seen if he can recapture his title-winning form of old.
Federer has not won a Grand Slam title since the 2018 Australian Open where he beat Marin Cilic in the final.
That was his 20th Grand Slam title and it also made him the oldest male since 1972 to win a major title.
Before 2022 all of Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal had won 20 majors each. However, the Australian Open 2022 changed all of that.
This is because Nadal won the men’s singles final and became the first male in history to win 21 major singles titles.
Federer had already paid tribute to his rival and friend on social media after the match. But he took out a moment to further praise Nadal as a “great role model”.
“It was nice to see his emotions after such a hard-fought victory,” he said of the 35-year-old Spaniard who has battled his own injury problems over the years.
“Rafa told me that he hadn’t been feeling well with his body – now he’s holding up the Australian Open trophy. He’s a great example, a great role model.”
Should Federer be able to make a comeback, it seems likeliest he will return at Wimbledon, a Slam synonymous with him since the turn of the milennium. But that discussion is for another time.