Besides the great tennis we see at Roland Garros courts, with Rafal Nadal and Iga Swiatek rolling over the opponents, we also saw two withdrawals.
Naomi Osaka left Paris after the first-round win blaming the mental pressure she is getting from the media. Roger Federer withdrew after the third-round win citing injury of his knee after the long match he played.
Both withdrawals overshadowed the tennis played on the courts for the moment and raised a lot of questions. One of the questions strikes me directly.
Is this the end of Roger Federer’s tennis career?
I am the one who is asking this question for three years now in my bold prediction for the season article. And I believe one time I will get it right, and it will be sooner than later.
Roger Federer will be forty in August, and even at this age, he is still number eight in ATP Ranking.
He won 20 grand slam tournaments and 103 ATP tournaments. Federer was number one for 310 weeks in his career and finished as number one for five years. He is called G.O.A.T (Great of All Times) for a reason.
This time it looks really serious.
He did not play Australian Open due to travel concerns and a lot of time he would spend without the family. Then he played two three sets matches in Doha, Qatar. He beat Dan Evans and lost with Basilashvili before he took the necessary rest to heal his injuries.
He returned to the courts two weeks before Roland Garros just to lose with Pablo Andujar in Geneva.
His French Open performance was not bad at all. He won his matches against Istomin (3:0), Cilic (3:1), and Koepfer (3:1) before he announced his end in Paris.
I am not a doctor, so I would not write an analysis of his knee. I am a tennis fan and spectator who clearly see the regression in his performance and the need for longer rest between the matches.
He always liked the grass courts more than clay courts. His eight Wimbledon titles prove that pretty much. I think he will do everything to play there this year, even if it means he would need to withdraw from the Halle tournament he is scheduled to play.
But I do not believe he can win Wimbledon anymore. The best of five sets is too much for him in his age with his injury record. I would not be surprised if he will pull out of Wimbledon after the third round again.
When will that happen?
In all respect, it is hard to keep pace with the players fifteen years younger. I think we are very close to the end of the tennis career of Roger Federer.
Maybe, he will announce it just after Wimbledon or travel to Japan to play the Olympics in July and finish his career there. That would make sense because of his sponsorship contract with Japanese Uniqlo.
Or he can stay a bit longer and give it a try at US Open and Laver Cup, his tournament that will be played at Boston. I give it a 15% chance he will play Australian Open 2022 if travel restrictions and quarantine requirements are eased at that time.
Overall, I recommend not to miss any of his scheduled matches in Halle or Wimbledon as it could be the last time you will see one and true great tennis player Roger Federer in action.
What is your opinion?