The defeat was highlighted not only because it was Federer on the receiving end, but also because of the devastating nature of the loss; Federer was knocked out of the tournament having lost in straight sets.
In addition to the physical issues Federer has been dealing with over the past few years, such a loss would have required some mental toughness to help pull through the phase.
Federer set to fight for his return to tennis
The fans have been eager to watch Federer back in action. With the Australian Open set to kick off on the 17th of January, time is ticking for Federer to make it back in time for the tournament.
Federer’s coach, Ivan Ljubičić, has provided some clarity regarding the situation: while it would be encouraging for fans to note that Federer will not be hanging his boots anytime soon, his inclusion in the Australian Open remains unlikely.
It is no secret that Federer is nursing a bad knee that has been subject to surgery. Earlier this year, Federer made a shocking exit from the French Open. He was set to face Matteo Berrettini in the fourth round of the tournament. His withdrawal from the contest granted the big Italian server a walkover.
Federer mentioned that it was vital for him to listen to his body after over a year of rehabilitation. He wanted to make sure that he was 100% ready for Wimbledon that was next in line.
Although the Swiss did manage to put himself in the mix for Wimbledon, he could not get past the quarter-final stage. He then chose to opt out of the US Open that followed Wimbledon.
Since then, fans have speculated about the future of Federer. Some have gone as far as to say that they might have already seen the last of their hero.
However, Ljubičić has put some of those doubts to rest by coming out and informing the fans that Federer’s return is inevitable, although the timing of the same remains a doubt.
However, in terms of competition, it seems like Federer could be granted a buffer period thanks to doubts surrounding Novak Djokovic’s inclusion in the tournament. Uncertain of the protocols concerning COVID vaccination, the Serb may be absent from the tournament.
On the other hand, Rafael Nadal will be taking part in the tournament, adding some much-needed spark.