By Adam Hayes
When trying to name the best male tennis play of all time, there are bound to be a lot of lists. One player who has frequently made these lists is Roger Federer. Born in Basel, Switzerland in 1981, Federer turned professional in 1998. Since making his professional debut Federer has won numerous accolades. From winning over 88 career titles including 17 Grand Slam Singles wins with 27 Grand Slam final appearances, Federer's achievement list right now is greater than what many players have achieved over all of their careers. It is important to note that as great as Federer's career has been, it is not over. The same player who held the #1 ranked spot for 237 consecutive weeks in a row, now at the age of 35 has still been playing competitively. However, despite starting 2016 strongly by participating in the Australian Open, Federer sustained a knee injury in early February that plagued him for the rest of the year and limited his playing time significantly. Given a significant amount of time to recover, this article will detail exactly how successful Feder will be on his return, which is on track for January 2017.
Recap of Last Season:
Aiming to understand how deadly Roger Federer will be once he returns is tough without knowing how he played in his limited time the previous season. At just 34 years of age, Federer was ranked #3 in the world on the 25th of July, just a day before he withdrew from the Summer Olympics and rest of the season due to his injuries. In 2016, Federer showed many signs of his old self. The Swede started the year by making the semi-finals of the Australian Open where he lost to the eventual champion Novak Djokovic. Next, he sustained a knee injury requiring arthroscopic surgery which substantially limited his production for the whole year. After a series of injury laden performances in various tournaments, Federer ended his playing time this year after a five-set Wimbledon semi-final defeat to Canadian Milos Raonic. During the game, Federer required treatment from a trainer twice and finally realized that he needed to recover before he entered the court again . Roger Federer's 18th season was over, ending the year as the ninth ranked male tennis player in the world.
Return to the Top in 2017
For Roger Federer. Age has always been a number. Although nearing his retirement, 2017 might be the best time for Roger to add another Grand Slam title to his resume. With one of Federer's top competitors, Novak Djokovic taking a seat back from the #1 ranking for the first time in years to Andy Murray, Federer's path to the top is much clearer than before. Historically, Djokovic has been a thorn in Federer's career success with over 23 head to head wins. Seeing a weaker Djokovic in tournament play will allow Federer to make one last run towards securing another title before retirement. Overall, despite increasingly difficult competition in the singles scene, with Djokovic's coming back to earth, 2017 is the best year for Roger Federer to make a title run and return to glory.