Stan Wawrinka doubts Roger Federer will return at same level but praises burning desire
Stan Wawrinka doubts Roger Federer will return at the heights he reached previously, but recognises there are more factors at play than just physical fitness.
20-time Slam champion Federer suffered a knee injury last July immediately after Wimbledon. Federer suffered his heaviest Wimbledon defeat against Hubert Hurkacz as he battled through the pain.
The Swiss maestro opted to undergo a third knee surgery following the Slam and has only just stepped up his recovery, meaning he has been side-lined for the past eight months and looks set to be out for even longer.
Federer is the oldest of the ‘Big Three’, with Novak Djokovic aged 34 and Rafael Nadal aged 35.
Whilst Federer has previously endured a lengthy absence and went on to win Wimbledon on his return in 2017, three-time Slam icon Wawrinka doesn’t think his fellow Swiss will make the same return.
Speaking to French tennis website We Love Tennis, Wawrinka said “I think it’s just impossible to know right now because from what he says, what he shows and what he does or doesn’t do now and in the last few months, he’s too far to know exactly where it will go.
“He said it, until he started again more intensely the physical condition, he does not know.
“Especially with his age and with this kind of big injury, as long as we are not in the concrete of physical training and tennis training, we do not know when we will come back and how.
“Anyway, from the moment we haven’t closed the chapter, there’s still the desire, there’s still the flame.
“Will his level be the same as five years ago? No, clearly not.
“But again, we have seen that it is not always a question of level that makes it possible to have results, there are plenty of factors that come into play in any tournament.
“The most important thing is not to know what level you can reach but what is the flame that you have in you to still do whatever it takes to push the limits.”
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