John McEnroe insists ‘you can never count Roger Federer out’ as he compares Swiss icon to Tom Brady
John McEnroe warns that you can’t write Roger Federer off after his latest injury setback, saying the 20-time Grand Slam’s longevity reminds him of NFL great Tom Brady.
Federer is set to be sidelined for at least four months after undergoing knee surgery at the backend of February, but the 38-year-old is hopeful of returning in time for the grass-court season.
However, it is not the first time that the tennis great has had to deal with a long layoff as he also had a knee operation after Wimbledon 2016.
McEnroe was coaching Milos Raonic at the time and the Canadian claimed his one and only win over Federer, who then missed the remainder of that campaign before making a successful return the following year.
“Then Roger limped off the court and didn’t play for six months. And I thought, you know, that’s pretty much it,” McEnroe said.
“That’s four years ago. And he came back after not having played for six months and managed to win the Australian Open (the next) year, winning three best-of-five set matches, which is virtually unheard of to begin with, and to win three majors post-surgery. So you never can count him out.”
Seven-time Grand Slam winner McEnroe also likened Federer to six-time Super Bowl champion Brady, who won numerous titles and awards in his late 30s.
“It’s like asking the same question on Tom Brady. You know, it’s the exact same thing,” McEnroe said. “I mean, how they keep doing it would be the first thing at their age. It’s phenomenal, right? I mean, how in the world are these guys still playing at such a high level?
“I´ve admired watching Tom Brady because he makes players around him better. But you´re out there on your own and you´re 38 and you could be turning 39 on a tennis court with the wear and tear. That´s really tough. … It´s already amazing he´s made it this far.”
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