Roger Federer uploaded a post to Instagram that has tennis fans foaming at the mouth ahead of a blockbuster move 14 months in the making.
Roger Federer uploaded a post to Instagram that has tennis fans foaming at the mouth ahead of a blockbuster move 14 months in the making.

Roger Federer photo sparks a frenzy

He's back, baby!

After more than a year out of action, Roger Federer has teased his return to tennis and aren't his fans happy about it.

The Swiss maestro posted a photo to Instagram on Saturday after a sweaty training session as he prepares to make his comeback to the court at the upcoming Qatar Open in Doha after an extended absence.

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"The countdown to Doha begins. #1weektogo," he wrote.

Federer hasn't played in more than a year, stung by injury and then the COVID-19 pandemic, robbing tennis of its most popular male figure. The 39-year-old's last match came in January 2020 when he lost to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

He was sorely missed at Melbourne Park this year, deciding to give his knee extra time to recover after undergoing two surgeries in 2020.

 

 

"He has made strong progress in the last couple of months with his knee and his fitness. However, after consultation with his team, he decided that the best decision for him in the long run is to return to competitive tennis after the Australian Open," Federer's manager Tony Godsick told AP in December.

Judging by the replies to Federer's social media post, the world can't wait to get a glimpse of his sumptuous one-handed backhand after being denied for so long.

Italian pro Andreas Seppi commented "bravo" on Instagram while Hungarian star Timea Babos replied with two fire emojis.

Former Olympic skier, and ex-boyfriend of Tiger Woods, Lindsey Vonn, wrote: "Let's go RF" with two bicep flexing emojis.

The official account for the US Open tweeted: "Can't wait to see you back on court, Roger!"

Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner "liked" the post and The Tennis Channel wrote: "WE MISSED YOU!"

 

 

This year's Australian Open was pushed back from its usual January timeslot to February because of coronavirus and it was hoped the delay would give Federer enough time to recover and take part in the major but sadly, it wasn't to be.

However, there was also speculation his wife Mirka had a say in deciding to skip the grand slam Down Under because of concerns about the lengthy two-week quarantine period.

Last month Tennis Australia's head of player liaisons, Brazilian former professional Andre Sa, revealed the 20-time major champion had baulked at the strict quarantine protocols enforced Down Under.

"The main reason was the quarantine. I talked to him a month ago and he had two options. He could come with the whole family and (they could) quarantine (with) him," Sa said.

"The problem is that Mirka and her children couldn't leave the room. They would have to stay 14 days in the room. The exception is only for players. He could go out, train and come back, but the family couldn't. Mirka did not approve the idea.

"The other option would be for him to come alone. Only there would be at least five weeks away from family and children. And then he said, 'Dude, (I'm) 39, (I have) four kids, 20 Grand Slams, I am no longer (willing) to spend five weeks away from my family."

 

Federer has watched from the sidelines as Rafael Nadal equalled him on the list of all-time men's grand slam winners with 20 by claiming another French Open crown last year, while Djokovic is also closing the gap.

The Serbian won major number 18 by dismantling Daniil Medvedev in the final of the Australian Open last weekend, though is still well behind Federer in the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) debate.

Djokovic admitted last week he'll never be loved like Federer, taking aim at how the media has treated him over the course of his career.

Despite not playing at Melbourne Park this year, Federer kept a close eye on proceedings, and earnt special praise when he sent a classy message to Australian star Thanasi Kokkinakis after the injury-plagued star's breakthrough win in the first round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Roger Federer photo sparks a frenzy


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