Former Aussie doubles legend Todd Woodbridge reckons the coronavirus-induced break from tennis will have a telling effect on Roger Federer’s chances of winning a Grand Slam again.
The 20-time major winner will be most affected by the suspension of tennis activities according to Woodbridge.
According to him, this break will challenge Federer’s motivation to return and go on to add to his list of Grand Slams. Federer last won the 2018 Australian Open to make it 20 Grand Slams but since then has been pipped to the post, most notably when he held Championships points at the 2019 Wimbledon against Novak Djokovic.
Speaking to AAP, Woodbridge said:
“The question that Roger will have to ask himself is how motivated is he to come back for another year? Or has this actually helped him? The less match play that you get in this period at that age, it’s so much harder to come back and recover once you start again.”
“So I really think that post-2020 will be a new era of people trying to create records because it’ll have really have broken up a great period in tennis.”
“It has stopped the potential, I think, of Federer winning one or two Majors more. It becomes very highly unlikely for him.”
Interestingly, Federer had withdrawn from the clay court season before tennis went on a break, to tend to a knee injury which needed him to undergo a surgery. He had struggled through a couple of rounds at the Australian Open before losing to Novak Djokovic in the semifinal.
The one point to note here is while Federer isn’t getting any younger, he has already been written off once before in his career. Between winning his 17th Grand Slam title at the 2012 Wimbledon and the 18th at the 2017 Australian Open, there were three majors finals and a few other semifinals but he never managed to win them.
This had led to suggestions the best might be behind him.
Federer had proved his critics wrong by defeating Rafael Nadal in the final of the 2017 Australian Open and then added another title that year by clinching the Wimbledon. In 2018 he made it back to back Australian Open titles when he defeated Marin Cilic in the final.
Question is can he repeat the same?