Tennis great and Swiss icon Roger Federer popularly called ‘Baba Ibeji’ his Nigerian fans, has admitted to his friend and arch rival Rafael Nadal that he is in no hurry to make a return on Tour.
Two of the greatest tennis exponents of this generation caught up in a live Instagram chat late Monday in a freeflowing and candid chat even as Covid-19 continues to force lockdown.“There is no stress, no rush. If there is anything positive (about being in lockdown) that’s the only thing really. I just want the knee to be good, it doesn’t matter when I return,” Federer told the Spaniard.
“I’ve been hitting a bit against a wall, (doing) rehab with the knee. It’s OK, I had a really good first six weeks, then it was a bit slower, now it’s getting better again, but I have plenty of time,” the Swiss ace said, indicating that he’s not keen on forcing a hurried comeback on the ATP Tour.
Federer underwent knee surgery in the middle of February just when he was scheduled to travel to Dubai for the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open.
The event lost a bit of its appeal, but eight-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic did well to win a fifth crown in Dubai on the leap day of the year. That incidentally turned out to be the final competition on the ATP Tour before being shut at least till the middle of July.
Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War II and Nadal’s favourite Grand Slam at Roland Garros has been pushed back for a September 20 start. “I am not playing tennis, I do not have a court at home and I miss it a little,” Nadal admitted to Federer.
“I am sticking to my physical routines. From the gym of my academy, they were able to bring me some machines when lockdown began – so I try to work a little in the morning, a little in the afternoon. It is very important to have both the head and the body focused and it is what I am trying to do at all times,” he added.
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Federer it will be recalled married tennis player Miroslava Vavrinec in 2009 same year they were blessed with identical twin girls and in 2014 another identical twin boys.