Italian tennis star Marco Cecchinato is a big fan of Roger Federer as he hopes the record 20-time Grand Slam champion can play until he is 50.
Federer, 39, underwent two knee surgeries last year and he returned to the court in March after being sidelined for 14 months.
The Swiss edged out Great Britain’s Daniel Evans in his Doha opener, before losing to eventual champion Nikoloz Basilashvili in his following match.
“I hope, first of all, that Roger can play until he is 50! On the Tour, he is an extraordinary and stimulating presence, an athlete who is pleasant to find on the courts, in the locker rooms, in the player’s lounge. Federer is one of us, even though he is tennis. It will obviously not be easy for him to return to his best level, especially on clay after a long period of absence. This will also be the case to a lesser extent for Djokovic and Nadal who play little during this period. But considering we are talking about the champions who made the modern tennis legendary, I wouldn’t be surprised if their dominance continues for a long time to come. “
Federer hasn’t played on clay since 2019
After missing the entire clay season in 2017 and 2018, Federer returned to the slowest tennis surface in 2019.
Back then, Federer made the quarterfinals in Rome and Madrid before he made the French Open quarterfinal.
As noted by Cecchinato, returning to the clay courts after so long won’t be easy for Federer.
Meanwhile, fellow 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal remains the top favorite to win a record 14th French Open title.
“Honestly, Rafa is going to win one more, maybe two for sure, French Opens”. Novak Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic said in February. “(So) you need to keep going winning. Novak is favourite in Wimbledon and US Open.”