Roger Federer has said he is “feeling strong” and is looking forward to returning to a tennis court as the Swiss great continues his recovery from his latest knee surgery.
Federer, 40, announced in August that he would be sidelined for at least the rest of the season in order to undergo another knee operation as he attempts to extend his illustrious career. The former world No 1 had two procedures last year, which resulted in more than a year of rehabilitation before a return to action in March.
Federer last played at Wimbledon in July, where he suffered a quarter-final exit, which ended his dream of a record-extending ninth title at the All England Club. His latest lengthy absence has led to suggestions he could decide to hang up his racquet but Federer insists he is targeting a return to the tour.
“I’m feeling actually really good … things are not as I hoped they would be, but I’m recovering well and the rehab is going really good,” he told Eurosport.
“I’ve had no setbacks. I’m feeling strong and excited for what’s to come. I wish I could be back on a tennis court as quick as possible, but I have to be patient.
“It’s a slow period right now. And I got to take it step by step. And so far so good. I’m very happy.”
Federer, who shares the men’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, believes that winning a calendar-year Grand Slam is still possible for a male player after Djokovic came close to achieving the feat, only to miss out at the US Open final.
Top-ranked Djokovic was bidding to become the first man since 1969 to win the year’s four Grand Slam titles but lost to Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in New York.
“I think it is possible that it’s going to happen again,” Federer said. “We saw it with Novak, myself and Rafa that we come extremely close.
“But I think you need a bit of luck. You need perseverance, strength … that’s why I think it’s going to be hard. But it’s possible.”