Roger Federer has warned Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic that he plans to return to the very top as he continues his preparations ahead of the French Open. The 20-time Grand Slam winner spent over a year on the sidelines after undergoing knee surgery in March 2020.
That has seen the Swiss star slide down to eighth in the world rankings and leaves question marks hanging over his career.
Not many players can compete at the highest level at 39 year old, never mind after an operation.
Nadal and Djokovic have maintained their stronghold on the sport in Federer’s absence and sit in the top two spots in the rankings.
Federer made his long-awaited return at the Qatar Open in March and he is next in action at the Geneva Open on May 16, his final event before the French Open.
And 2009 Roland Garros champion insists he is not coming back just to make up the numbers.
“I will do everything, to get back to the top after my surgery and the long pause due to that,” Federer told Schweizer Familie magazine.
“As long as I am happy and healthy I will continue to play. Now, before you even ask me for how long, I must tell you, I don’t know, honestly.”
Federer beat British No 1 Dan Evans in his first match back from injury in Doha but fell in the following round to Nikoloz Basilashvili.
“I’m happy I am back on the tour,” Federer said after the defeat. “I’m pleased I came here to Doha. So it’s really, really a positive return for me. I’m really happy.
“He is an absolute icon and has lifted tennis to another level. Only, Federer needs a good end to his career.
“From my point of view, Wimbledon is the Grand Slam tournament where he still has the best chance of going far.”