The next Major season starts in two and a half months at the Australian Open, with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic all standing on 20 titles. At the moment, it’s uncertain who will compete in Melbourne, as Djokovic has issues with the vaccine, Nadal, who comes from an injury and Federer, who is still away from the practice court. Pam Shriver believes that Federer can not stand as a Major contender in 2022, giving advantage to his opponents to move in front of him for the first time. Federer decided to wrap up the current season in August, not playing since Wimbledon due to ongoing knee issues. The Swiss star played only 13 matches after the last year’s Australian Open, undergoing two knee surgeries in February and May 2020 and staying away from the court for 13 months. Eager to get back and compete again, Federer entered five tournaments between March and July this year, reaching the Wimbledon quarter-final but feeling the pain in his knee again and undergoing the third surgery.
The veteran is yet to step on the practice court, and he hopes everything will go right this time and that he can be competitive in 2022. Federer did a great job in 2019, considering his age, winning the Masters 1000 title in Miami and wasting two match points versus Novak Djokovic in that epic Wimbledon final. Following another good result at the last year’s Australian Open, Federer announced knee issues and underwent the first surgery in February, with another following in May. Starting all over at 39, Roger hit the practice court in October last year and had worked on his physical shape before returning to competition this March. Federer beat Daniel Evans in Doha for a winning return, prevailing in three sets and losing in the quarter-final to Nikoloz Basilashvili after squandering a match point.
Roger Federer has played only 13 matches since February last year due to knee issues.
Roger took another break and played again in Geneva and Paris on clay, earning three Roland Garros wins and withdrawing ahead of the fourth-round clash to preserve energy for his beloved grass swing. The Swiss experienced the earliest Halle exit against Felix Auger-Aliassime and went to Wimbledon for his 22nd All England Club campaign. Stopping the time, Federer beat four rivals and became the oldest Wimbledon quarter-finalist in the Open era, facing Hubert Hurkacz in a battle for the semis. Losing steam, Roger won only nine games in a 6-3, 7-6, 6-0 defeat, experiencing his first bagel since the 2008 Roland Garros final. Skipping the Olympic Games, Toronto and Cincinnati, Federer decided to undergo the third surgery due to ongoing knee pain that has ruined his past two seasons. The Swiss is yet to reveal return plans or specific dates, although he believes he can play at his best in the upcoming season.
“I can not see Roger Federer winning a Major in 2022. Novak Djokovic will extend his Major tally next year and probably go to 22 Major titles. I believe Rafael Nadal can win one Major, and the fourth should go to Daniil Medvedev or someone who has never won one before,” Pam Shriver said.