Roger Federer is still a contender to win Wimbledon this year when he returns to action after knee surgery. That is the view of his former coach Paul Annacone.
On Thursday, Federer revealed he underwent arthroscopic surgery in Switzerland to solve an issue with his right knee.
In his statement, the Swiss star said the problem had been “bothering” him for some time and the recovery would mean he misses the next four tournaments on his schedule and an exhibition in Colombia.
Federer made no mention of retiring, instead telling fans that he will see them again for the grass-court season.
It’s expected Federer will be fit to play in Halle in June where he was won ten times.
He’ll then head to Wimbledon and attempt to win a ninth title and bounce back from last year’s heartbreaking defeat to Novak Djokovic in the final.
This is the second time Federer has needed surgery, having had an issue with his left leg in 2016.
On that occasion, Federer returned to action in April for the clay-court season but struggled with other injury knocks and shut down his season in the summer to fully recover.
It’s thought Federer’s decision to rule himself out until June was due to the desire to take as long as possible to get back to full fitness.
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Speaking in an interview with the New York Times, Annacone, who coached Federer from the end of 2010 to end of 2013, said that while injuries will be harder for the 38-year-old to recover from, he had no doubts about his ability to still win Grand Slams.
“The big challenge in my experience is the older you get, the harder it is to come back from anything,” Annacone said.
“But these all-time greats are aberrations, not the rule, so you risk your own peril to predict what’s going to happen, pro or con.
“In 2010, when I started with him, people were wondering when he was going to retire.
“He just got to the semis of the Aussie Open by the skin of his teeth basically, but he was there, and those are the moments all those greats live for.
“So I’m not quite ready to write him off. And you look at his grass-court record and how unique his game is for grass, I don’t see any reason he can’t still win Wimbledon.”
THE FOUR TOURNAMENTS ROGER FEDERER WILL MISS
Dubai Tennis Championships – February 24
Indian Wells – March 12
Miami – March 25
French Open – May 24
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