This year marks Roger Federer’s 21st appearance at the Australian Open, but if you thought he considered skipping the 2020 event then you better think again.
With the 20-time Grand Slam winner turning 39 later this year, questions about retirement always pops up when he turns up at tournaments.
He has insisted in recent months that he has not yet made a decision about retirement, but in recent years he has cut back on his schedule in order to prolong his playing days.
Before the start of the 2020 season, he pulled out of the ATP Cup Down Under and some wondered whether or not he would end up missing the whole Australian summer series.
However, he has touched down in Australia and is ready to go.
“Last week I asked myself, ‘Am I happy to go to Australia, or are you better off staying here and stopping pack immediately?’,” he said.
“I could easily just stay home. I was like, ‘No, no, no’. I was really happy to go to Melbourne and kick off the season there.
“I’ve kept myself in good shape. Obviously I’ve had an amazing team around me.”
He added: “I’ve trained long and hard in the off-season and I didn’t have any setbacks, which is crucial.”
While some players plan from a young age to call it quits once they have won everything there is to win, Federer says he had always “hoped to have longevity”.
“When I was younger – 20, 22, 24 – I was already hoping that one day I could play for a long time,” he is quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
“So it wasn’t just decided five years ago that hopefully I’d still be playing at 38.
“It was probably decided a long long time ago after I won my first Australian Open here in 2004 and I got to world No 1 for the very first time.
“I hoped to have longevity. I worked hard for it really.”
Milos Raonic on the Adria Tour debacle.
Mouratoglou raises questions about hosting US Open.
Plenty of positives for Andy Murray.
Kevin Palmer on Roger Federer’s SW19 breakthrough.
The fallout from the controversial Adria Tour continues.
Where to get your Wimbledon fix this year.
Nemanja Matic firmly in Novak Djokovic’s corner.
No holding back from Nick Kyrgios.
Lewis discusses Wimbledon prospects.
German breaks self-isolation vow.