Roger Federer’s eturn to the tour could alternatively be a farewell, in keeping with John McEnroe. The seven-time Grand Slam champion admitted the forty-12 months-old’s comeback at his domestic event in Basel later this 12 months can be the start of the quit following Federer’s 0.33 knee surgery.
Federer has been out of action for almost a year after undergoing his third knee surgery in the space of 18 months but will be making a comeback at the Laver Cup before his official return to the tour at the Swiss Indoors Basel in October. But McEnroe has now admitted he believes the tournament could mark the former world No 1’s retirement instead of his comeback.
Addressing the 20-time Major champion’s upcoming comeback, the American told Repubblica: “Five or six years ago he had already taken six months off, right? And he thought it was over, that there was no way to win another Grand Slam. And then he won it.
“Now, to do it again, it seems to be almost impossible, but you know… Roger said he will play in Basel. I have a feeling, but I could be totally wrong, that he will say goodbye to Switzerland, at his house.”
Federer and his agent Tony Godsick have both been talking up his return in recent weeks. “I’m ready to give it my all again. I feel like a racehorse scratching its stall and wanting to race,” the Swiss star recently said to Caminada, while Godsick told i: “I know Roger well enough to know that he still has the flame burning to compete.
“His real motivation is to come back to compete on the ATP tour and sort of try to end his career, the way he wants to end it healthy and successful and on his terms.” And despite McEnroe’s belief that Federer’s stint at the Basel ATP 500 could signal a farewell, he also refused to write off the 103-time title altogether and admitted he wouldn’t be surprised to see him in Australia next season.
“Unless he feels great, and then maybe he will try to play in Australia and then who the hell knows will turn the clock back. We’ll see what makes him happy,” he added. Federer famously ended his 2016 season with another knee injury and returned to Australia six months later as the 17th seed, winning his then-18th Grand Slam title in a throwback final against Rafael Nadal.
And the 40-year-old will be joined by his long-time friend and rival for his Laver Cup comeback, with the two former world No 1s the first players officially confirmed for Team Europe when the three-day contest comes to London’s O2 Arena in September. And they could be joined by Carlos Alcaraz, with Godsick – a co-founder of the tournament alongside Federer – admitting there had been positive talks with the 19-year-old to enlist him as part of the squad.