Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Djokovic on Roger Federer’s Rough Road to 21st Grand Slam at Wimbledon Championships 2021
Though many believe it’s his best chance to add to his career Grand Slam haul, Roger Federer has to navigate to a tough draw if he wants to equal Martina Navratilova’s record of winning nine Wimbledon titles this year.
Going into the Championship on the back of four wins from just seven matches this season, which isn’t such a bad way of entering a Grand Slam draw, what’s telling for the 39-year-old Swiss is that he has played just four events this year and his knees are dodgy at best.
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The major difference from 2019 when he finished runner-up after squandering a match point and coming out on the wrong end of an epic final against Novak Djokovic is that he is still finding his feet on Tour after returning from close to a 14-month absence to recover from a second knee injury.
Roger Federer withdrew from French Open in the third round
Wary of putting too much stress on his knees too soon and staying fighting fit for All England, Federer withdrew after reaching the second week at Roland-Garros this year.
Reports suggested that the eight-time Wimbledon champion felt some pain in his knee in his third-round victory over German Dominik Koepfer and released a statement the day after saying he pulled out on the advice of his team.
And in what might read as a bad omen ahead of All England, Federer crashed out in the last-16 at Halle after losing to Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Federer will open his Wimbledon campaign against Adrian Mannarino
Coming to the draw, Federer will open his All England campaign against 42nd-ranked Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, and should he clear the first hurdle, he will face either veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet or Yuichi Sugita of Japan.
However, his tough road starts from Round-3 where he will face 34th-ranked Briton Cameron Norrie.
The Swiss will have to either put it past Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta or doughty Italian Lorenzo Sonego if he wants to make the quarters.
For a place in the last-four, he will face a stiff battle against Russian World No.2 Daniil Medvedev or reigning Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz.
The task will get progressively tougher thereafter as one of Alexander Zverev or Matteo Berrettini awaits him in the semi-final.
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With Djokovic in the other half of the draw as in 2019, he will face either the current World No.1 or reigning French Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas or Russian Andrey Rublev should he reach the final.
The task is cut out for Federer but even his detractors would say that it’s not entirely beyond him.
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