Roger Federer‘s close friend and former world No 2 Tommy Haas has revealed that the Swiss icon is likely to make a decision on his retirement next March. Federer has endured a mixed year since returning from a troublesome knee injury that plagued his efforts in 2020.
He missed the vast majority of tour action that year but returned to the fold in Qatar back in March.
Federer crashed out at the hands of Nikoloz Basilashvili in Doha before going on to compete at the French Open and Wimbledon without much success.
The 40-year-old withdrew from Roland Garros after reaching the round of 16 and was dumped out at the All England Club in the last eight by Hubert Hurkacz.
He then revealed in August that he had been forced to undergo further knee surgery during the grass-court swing and will be out of action for ‘many months’ as he recovers.
Federer’s recent injury struggles have led many to believe that he could soon announce his retirement from the sport, but Haas is expecting him to give it at least another five months before making the all-important call.
“He loves life, but he’s still hungry,” Haas told L’Equipe.
“He still hopes he can come back. He wants to stop when he wants to, to decide when it’s time to say you don’t like it anymore [because] you lose too much.
“We saw at Wimbledon that he was a little bit injured, he wasn’t moving as well as usual. But he’s going to make every effort to come back.
“I’m 100 per cent sure that the goal is Wimbledon. It’s his best surface to go far again, again.
“It’s all going to depend on how he can overcome that [knee surgery] physically. We’ll have an element of an answer in March, April, May.”
It remains to be seen whether Federer will be able to hit the heights of yesteryear upon his planned return to the tour, with Novak Djokovic now firmly in the ascendancy at the top of the rankings.
The former revealed last month that he is optimistic over his recovery, insisting that he will take things on a step-by-step basis in order to look after his body in the best way possible.
“I’m recovering well, rehab is going really good,” Federer told reporters before the Laver Cup.
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“I’ve had no setbacks. Every day is a better day, I’m feeling strong and excited for what’s to come.
“I experienced it a little bit last year and I was actually surprised how somewhat easy it was for me to go through the rehab process, because I know it’s not everybody’s favourite thing to do, especially as a top athlete.
“But after all these years travelling it was also nice to be at home, having time for the family and other things.
“Of course I wish I could be back on the tennis court as quick as possible, but I’ve got to be patient. It’s a slow period right now.
“I’ve got to take it step by step [but] so far so good, so I’m very happy.”