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Novak Djokovic’s heartfelt message to Roger Federer amid injury woes

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Novak Djokovic has shared his respect for Roger Federer after the 40-year-old admitted it would be a long time before he could get back on the match court.

Novak Djokovic has sent a heartwarming message to his long-time rival Roger Federer. It comes after the 40-year-old shared an injury update, admitting he would be “extremely surprised” to make it back in time for Wimbledon in June 2022. Federer shut down his season early to undergo a third knee surgery in under two years, and still won’t be seen on the court anytime soon as he continues his slow recovery process.
Federer provided an update on his injury recovery on Wednesday (November 17), admitting he wouldn’t expect to be back on court until at least the summer of 2022, though said that even Wimbledon – held in June and July – would be unlikely for him.

Following the former world No 1’s latest comments, there are concerns he will not be able to return to competitive tennis following his third knee surgery in less than two years.

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The 40-year-old shut down his 2020 season after the Australian Open – before tennis was suspended for several months during the pandemic – and underwent two knee surgeries, only returning to competition at the Doha ATP 250 in March this year.

He played just five tournaments, winning nine matches, and ended his 2021 season after suffering a “setback” at Wimbledon, announcing he would be out for “many months” after making the decision to go under the knife for a third time since the beginning of 2020.

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Now, one of his biggest rivals has shared his hopes to see the Swiss tennis star back on a court at least one more time.

Speaking following his round-robin victory over Andrey Rublev at the ATP Finals on Wednesday, Novak Djokovic addressed Federer’s latest injury update comments.

“Obviously Roger is an icon of our sport and people around the world love him,” the fellow 20-time Grand Slam champion said.

“They love watching him play, they love seeing him around. He’s very important for our sport on and off the court.
“So for the sake of our sport I sincerely hope that we can see him play at least another time.”

The world No 1 also admitted that he thought Federer would give his all for at least one last appearance on the match court, if his body didn’t allow him to make a full return to the Tour.

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He continued: “I’m sure that he doesn’t want to end his career this way. I think he’s going to definitely try to give it one last push.

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“For everything that he has achieved and created for this sport, he deserves to play and he deserves to have a proper farewell. I mean, if, you know, his injury is not allowing him to play, so to say, more frequently on the Tour.”

Giving an interview in German to clear up speculation over his return to competition, Federer said: “I would be incredibly surprised if I were to play again already at Wimbledon [2022].

“Australia is not an option at all. But that’s no surprise for me. Even before the operation, we knew that a break of many months would be necessary afterwards.”

He also shared a time-frame for his recovery in the near-future, adding: “The doctors say that I will be able to jog lightly in January and gradually return to the court. Gently. They don’t know, but I’ve already been playing a bit of tennis with the kids.

“Then in March or April, I can start training again in a tennis-like way.”

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