Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have played very little in this 2021 due to their physical problems. The Swiss has played the misery of 13 official matches from March until today, before undergoing a new surgery on his right knee. After reaching the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last July, King Roger announced that he had suffered a knee relapse and was unable to participate in the Tokyo Olympics. The return of the 20-time Grand Slam champion should take place in 2022, but there are not too many guarantees in this regard. In a recent interview with Messaggero, his coach Ivan Ljubicic admitted that there are no precise plans for his return to the field. The speech relating to Nadal is different, first blocked by a back injury and then by pain in his foot. The 35-year-old Spaniard had decided to skip both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics in hopes of giving his best on hard courts. His campaign in Washington, however, ended after just two games. Shortly thereafter, Rafa chose to close his 2021 prematurely. During a long conversation on Eurosport, former ATP number 3 Nikolay Davydenko analyzed with great sincerity the moment Roger and Rafa are experiencing.
Davydenko on Federer and Nadal
“I think it will be hard for Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to return with such injuries,” Davydenko said. “Of course, the fans are going to beat me up now and say I’m talking nonsense. But if you feel it as it is, then they will already give way little by little. Maybe they will win something – I’m not saying that they will all lose,” he added. “But I don’t think they can potentially win a five-set match. They can play an hour out of three sets, one and a half. And so you can play a tournament, but the main thing is that if something does not work out again, some kind of injury.” The former World No. 3 expressed his reservations not just about the timing of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s return, but also over whether they would come back at all, given their respective injuries. “Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will go down in the rankings anyway,” Davydenko continued. “They are not playing at all at the moment. I don’t know if they’ll come to the court at all. We are talking about those who are now injured. We do not know when they will come out – we have to ask them.”