Roger Federer: The worst is behind me

Roger Federer believes the worst is behind him and is targetting a return to tennis at 40

Roger Federer believes the 'worst is behind' him

After undergoing a third knee surgery this summer, Roger Federer sounded optimistic about returning to the tennis court and believes the ‘worst is behind’ him.

“I’m doing very well; the rehab is progressing step by step,” Federer said at a promotional event in Zurich. “The worst is behind me.”

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Federer had been out for more than a year with two surgeries on his right knee before getting back onto the tour this year.

But he played only 13 matches, and underwent a third operation following his quarter-final defeat at Wimbledon in July.

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He withdrew from this year’s French Open after reaching the fourth round and bowed out at Wimbledon with a tame 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-0 loss to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.

“When you come back from an injury, every day is a better day. So it’s an exciting time,” the 40-year-old said.

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The 20-time Grand Slam champion, now ranked ninth in the world, said he sees returning to the professional tour as a “challenge”.

Federer added he hoped to get back to fitness training and hitting balls on the tennis court as soon as possible, but accepted that “that still takes a little patience”.

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Federer also praised one of his greatest rivals Novak Djokovic, who was bidding to win a calendar Grand Slam at the US Open.

Djokovic fell one match short of the feat though as he lost to Daniil Medvedev in the final.

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“But what Novak did this year was of course truly exceptional,” he said.