Roger Federer hasn’t played tennis for over a year after he had two knee surgeries in 2020. But the highly-anticipated comeback of the Swiss superstar, at the Qatar Open in Doha starting March 8, is all about trying to win the big titles again.
That’s according to former British pro Tim Henman, a four-time Wimbledon semifinalist and a long-time friend of the 39-year-old former world No. 1.
“His old level is so high, he’s not going to come back just to be making up the numbers,” Henman, a former world No. 4 and an analyst for European sports broadcaster Eurosport, said in a phone interview.
“He wants to be back competing to win the biggest and best tournaments. And that’s not going to get any easier as you get close to your fortieth birthday. But he’s working incredibly hard, I’m sure.”
Since turning pro in 1998, Federer has won pretty much everything there is to win in tennis, except for Olympic singles gold. The Swiss right-hander has won 103 career titles, including 20 Grand Slam singles titles. During his career, Federer has amassed close to $130 million in career prize money. Long the highest-paid tennis player, last year, he was named the world’s best-paid athlete by Forbes for the first time after his total earnings jumped to $106.3 million, thanks to a string of lucrative deals with the world’s biggest companies.
The return of a player of Federer’s caliber is hugely important for tennis, which was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic last year. All professional tennis was shut down from March, while the virus forced the first cancellation of Wimbledon since the Second World War. This year, tennis will be vying for the attention of fans with a score of other high-profile events, including the European Championships soccer and the Tokyo Olympics, both of which had originally been scheduled for 2020.
“For me, he’s the most mesmerizing player we have probably ever had in our sport,” said Henman, who won six out of 13 matches he played against the Swiss before his retirement in 2007.
“Tennis is blessed with some huge icons of the sport and of sport,” Henman said. “Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, Serena Williams, they as big a star as you can get. So we’re fortunate, but they’re not going to be around forever. So it’s important that we do enjoy them while they’re still competing.”
Federer announced his comeback in an interview with Swiss broadcaster SRF on Feb. 2, saying: “I want to celebrate great victories once again. And for that, I’m willing to go the long, hard way.”
It’s not the first time Federer is coming back from knee surgery. He made a successful comeback in 2017 after knee surgery in 2016, winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon that year. He won the last of his 20 Grand Slam singles titles at the 2018 Australian Open. Spain’s Rafael Nadal tied Federer in October by winning his 13th Roland-Garros crown in October.
Just how tough his recovery from double knee surgery has been became clear last week, when his long-time fitness trainer, Pierre Paganini, told Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger Federer won’t be setting his expectations too high in his comeback.
“This knee has been causing him problems for several years,” Paganini said, adding Federer wasn’t able to start training again until October.
Federer, who last played a tournament at the 2020 Australian Open, where he lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the semifinals, lit up social media when he sent this tweet on Feb. 26:
Federer, who is a three-time champion in Doha, recently added the nearby Dubai Open, which starts March 15, to his schedule and was also named in the field for the Miami Open – the first of the year’s Masters 1000 events after the postponement of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells – which will be played from March 22 to April 4.
Serena Williams Gets All Dolled Up At Home in a Glittering Minidress & Sharp Stilettos
Serena Williams showed off her glam side from the comfort of her own home, getting ready for girls’ night in style.
Hopping up on her bathroom counter to top off her makeup, the tennis pro took to Instagram this afternoon to show off her bold attire. The center of the look came in the form of a glittering black minidress complete with a long-sleeve silhouette and a sequin-coated finish.
View this post on Instagram
To bring the look to new heights, Williams then slipped on a towering set of stilettos with a recognizable outsole. The red-bottom heels, courtesy of Christian Louboutin, highlight a sharply pointed-toe silhouette with a curved vamp and a teetering height.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion is no stranger to wow-worthy pieces. Just yesterday, for example, Williams broke out a floral catsuit from Richard Quinn and Moncler’s collaboration as she displayed how she does “winters in Florida.” The piece came matched to block-heeled combat boots from Stuart Weitzman, a brand the athlete serves as an ambassador and model for.
In May of 2020, Williams officially signed on as the newest global spokeswoman for Stuart Weitzman, starring in the brand’s spring and summer ’20 ad campaign. She has since appeared in shoots for its fall ’20 collection and, most recently, its spring ’21 campaign with her daughter, Olympia.
Williams has also been a Nike athlete since 2003 and has released a number of collaborative projects with the brand over the years. In 2019, the two powerhouses announced that they were looking for emerging designers to help create a Williams-inspired shoe and apparel collection for 2020. She also created her own namesake apparel and accessories brand in 2018 and has since debuted capsules during New York Fashion Week.
‘If Body Ody Was a Person’: Serena Williams Brings Spring Vibes While Flaunting Her Curvy Body
Serena Williams does not only bring the heat on the tennis court, but apparently she does so with her fashion as well. In her March 11 photo posted to social media, she is wearing a long-sleeved body-hugging jumpsuit that is covered in daisies. Paired with the jumpsuit, she wore black combat boots as she stood outside in front of a pile of logs.
“How we do winters in Florida,” she wrote. The current Miami resident seemed confident that she looked great in her outfit because she wrote “The temperature just went up 🔥 🔥 🔥,” in the comments section.
Fans agreed that she looked amazing in her one-piece. One person said, “HONEYYYYY IT’S A WHOLE MOMENT.” Another person wrote that they were, “Soooo obsessed with this look!!!❤️❤️❤️”
Many even dubbed her “Flower Power,” and someone else said this is what it would look like “🔥🔥🔥 If bodyody was a person 😍.”
One thing about Williams is she does not play about her fashion. In a 2017 Vogue interview, she talked more about her love for fashion. “For me there was only one thing I connected to the way I’ve connected to tennis, and that’s been fashion. If you give me a garment, I can tell you what the fabric is, how it’s made, why something can or can’t be done because of the draping, et cetera. Who knows? Maybe I would have won more Grand Slams if I had been 100 percent tennis.”
Williams even has a clothing line, which she named after herself and launched in May 2018. During that time, the 23-time Grand Slam winner revealed that fashion wasn’t something that she randomly became interested in. In an interview with Essence, she shared that fashion was something she took seriously. She also said, “I went to fashion school back in the early 2000s,” and she attended The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.
Serena Williams trains with Dimitrov: it’s time to play again
Serena Williams is back to training on the court after the tears of the Australian Open, shed in the press conference after the semifinal defeat against Naomi Osaka, during which she said: “I’m done,” sparking many rumors about her eventual withdrawal.
But she also added: “If I ever had to say goodbye, I wouldn’t say it to anyone.” Many wondered if this could even be the American star’s last tournament, and not just her last Australian Open.
Sunday Serena posted a video of her workout of hers with world number 17 Grigor Dimitrov.
“Just a casual hit,” she said on Instagram. Dimitrov, on his own Instagram, shared a video and he wrote: “My practice partner is better than yours.” Venus Williams added: “Omg are you guys hitting now? Where is my invite?” In short, Serena still seems ready to go down again on the court, ready to amaze herself, her fans and her opponents, once again in search of that 24th Grand Slam title that she is looking for with great ardor.
As also reported by the Times of India, Serena Williams talked about the Slam record, still belonging to the Australian Margaret Smith: “She Surely she weighs on my shoulders and my mind.
It’s a good thing that I’m thinking about it. I’m used to it by now.” The absolute record for the highest number of Major trophies won in her career still belongs to Margaret Smith Court, who won the last one in 1973.
Discussing her retirement from the Gippsland Trophy instead, the eldest of the Williams sisters said: “I believe that at my age and at this point in my career I just have to keep playing according to my physical condition, I don’t have to put myself in a bad situation to my health.”
Serena also spoke of the harsh quarantine in Melbourne in recent days: “Actually, I didn’t let myself be influenced too negatively. I realized that my life is like a big quarantine too, since there are few times I leave my home.
It wasn’t that different from what I normally do. The only difference is that I was forced to do so, having no other options. I think it was the best choice for all players.”