Roger Federer’s results in 2021 are more likely than any age milestone to determine when his glittering career comes to an end, said Australian Todd Woodbridge, who thinks the Swiss master may yet have another Wimbledon triumph in him.
Last week the 39-year-old holder of 20 Grand Slam singles titles confirmed fitness issues after two knee operations in 2020 mean that fans will not see him in action at the Australian Open in February for the first time in more than two decades.
“A player of his stature, at some point when you’re not winning, you start to wonder about why you’re only making the quarter-finals, when you’re used to being in the final,” Woodbridge told Channel Nine this week.
“It doesn’t give the same adrenaline rush as it always has, and that’s when you start to think to yourself that you’ve got other things to do with your life.”
A semi-final defeat in Melbourne in 2020 was Federer’s last competitive match, and playing five-setters in the Australian summer heat after a lengthy injury and 14 days quarantine would have been a tricky proposition.
Federer has not missed a trip to Melbourne Park since a loss in qualifying in 1999.