Federer’s rehabilitation from knee surgery going ‘according to plan’

hannahwilks in News 06 Jul 2020
Federer wishes to focus his efforts on a ninth Wimbledon title (PA Images)

Roger Federer’s coach Severin Luthi has given a positive update on the Swiss great’s recovery from his knee surgery: ‘We’re focused on next season.’

Luthi reported that Federer is doing well and will soon resume fitness training in the wake of undergoing a second operation this year.

The 38-year-old Federer had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in February, after a turbulent Australian Open campaign ended with a semifinal defeat at the hands of Novak Djokovic.

Federer with Severin Luthi during a training session in 2017 (Credit Image: © David Lobel/EQ Images via ZUMA Press)

Federer, who has won 20 Grand Slams titles, initially hoped to be back for Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics. But when the season was suspended in mid-March due to the global COVID-19 health crisis, with Wimbledon subsequently cancelled and the Olympics postponed until 2021, Federer – whose recovery from February’s surgery had not been as quick as respected – decided to shut down his 2020 season entirely and undergo a second knee surgery.

Consequently, Federer will not be playing at the US Open, which is scheduled to be played behind closed doors in New York from 31 August-13 September. He had already decided to skip the clay season and the French Open, which will take place in Paris from 27 September-11 October.

‘Roger is doing well,’ Luthi told Swiss broadcaster SRF.

‘Rehabilitation has gone according to plan after the second surgery.

‘No big intensity until now, he will start a physical fitness block with Pierre Paganini shortly. First priority is that Roger Federer gets 100% healthy again.’

The longevity at the top of the sport enjoyed by Federer, who will turn 39 in August, has defied all conventional wisdom, and there are constant questions, rumours and speculation about when the all-time great will finally call time on his career.

Many feared that he would not be able to return for another season after being effectively denied a 2020 season by injury and then the global suspension of sport.

But Luthi’s report suggests that nothing could be further from the truth.

‘The nice thing is that with Roger you still get the feeling you‘re on court with a junior and not with a player who‘s rather at the end of his career.

‘Those are perfect conditions, we’re focused on next season.’

There is precedent for making a successful comeback from the kind of knee surgery and lengthy absence from the sport that Federer has undergone – in the man himself.

Federer shut down his 2016 season in July to have a similar arthroscopic procedure on his left knee after injuring himself while running a bath for his twin daughters. He returned to the sport six months later and won the Australian Open in his first official tournament back before picking up his eighth Wimbledon title that summer.