After some frantic “will it, won’t it?” questions, the Australian Open finally got underway on the 8th February, 2021, following a three week delay due to The Spicy Cough. Once again, some of the world’s biggest tennis stars have descended upon Melbourne in a bid to claim the first Grand Slam of the year, and a share of the AU$80,000,000 prize money.
One man who would have most likely been in the mix (if not a shoo-in) for a trophy is a certain Roger Federer, however, the Swiss superstar is notably absent from this year’s tournament, reportedly due to some recent knee surgery which hasn’t yet fully healed.
His absence gives Spanish rival Rafael Nadal a fighting chance of claiming his 21st Grand Slam single’s title, which, as Tennis World USA states, would put him on one more Grand Slam win than Federer – coincidentally, we felt Nadal won last year’s tournament before he even hit a ball for his pink and white outfit.
However, Federer won’t be thinking of the missed opportunity, as it seems he continues to command an exceptional amount of attention, even when he’s not in the same country – or indeed even competing.
How so? The 39-year old recently posted a Tweet (picked up by Yahoo Sports) congratulating Tom Brady on winning his seventh Super Bowl title (an unbelievable feat in itself) and claiming that “age is just a number.”
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) February 8, 2021
The post sparked an outpouring of support from followers.
“So nice to see your messages. I can’t say how happy am to receive the news about your return,” one wrote.
“4 tweets in 24 hours! You’re making up for lost time, Roger! Always happy to hear from you! But even better when we see on court next month!!” wrote another.
Given Roger’s age, many tennis fans wouldn’t be surprised if he decided to throw in the racket sometime soon. Yet, with the arrival of this Tweet, many are speculating he has plenty of years left in him yet. As for us? In our eyes, Federer’s classy Tweet is practically as good as winning the Australian Open.
When you consider the levels of skill and the speed at which Roger moves around the court today, he’s still arguably one of the best players in the world and according to Australian tennis ace, Nick Kyrgios is the greatest of all time.
“With his skill set, the way he plays the game, I think it’s pure”, Kyrgios said during his recent post-match interview.
“I actually think talent-wise [Rafael] Nadal and [Novak] Djokovic aren’t even close to Roger. Talent-wise, just purely based on talent the way Federer plays, his hands, his serving, his volleys, untouchable.”
Until that talent starts to diminish, we’d expect to see Roger gracing clay, grass and hard courts for many years to come.