Novak Djokovic hopes ‘icon’ Roger Federer ‘gives it a last push’ as he ‘deserves to have a proper farewell’

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic pre-match formalities

World No 1 Novak Djokovic “sincerely hopes” that Roger Federer will make a return to competitive tennis as the “icon” deserves to go out on his own terms.

Having undergone a third operation on his knee following his exit from Wimbledon in July, Federer called a premature end to his 2021 campaign with many hoping to see him back on court in early 2022.

However, the 20-time Grand Slam winner gave a fitness update this week and it was not the news his fans were hoping for as he confirmed he would miss the Australian Open, adding he would be “extremely surprised” if he plays at Wimbledon.

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The 40-year-old, though, did add that he is determined to return to action by the middle of 2022 and his great rival Djokovic hopes the tennis great does make a comeback.

“Obviously Roger is an icon of our sport and people around the world love him,” the Serbian said.

“They love watching him play, love seeing him around. He’s very important for our sport on and off the court. So for the sake of our sport, I sincerely hope that we can see him play at least another time.

“I’m sure he doesn’t want to end his career this way. I think he’s gonna definitely try to give it a last push, a last try.

“I’m not sure what his injury is, and I know he’s been struggling with a knee for quite a few years. So, yeah, let’s see.”

He added: “I think for everything that he has achieved and created for this sport, he deserves to play and he deserves to have a proper farewell.

“I mean, if his injury is not allowing him to play, so to say, more frequently on the tour.”