Roger Federer Announces Return from Injury, Will Play in 2021 French Open

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2021

Roger Federer in action during the exhibition tennis match against Rafael Nadal held at the Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday Feb. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Halden Krog)
Halden Krog/Associated Press

Roger Federer is back. 

The tennis superstar announced he is planning to return for the Gonet Geneva Open and the French Open in May:

Roger Federer @rogerfederer

Hi everyone! Happy to let you know that I will play Geneva🇨🇭 and Paris 🇫🇷. Until then I will use the time to train. Can’t wait to play in Switzerland again. ❤️🚀

Federer, 39, last played at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in March, losing in the quarterfinals to Nikoloz Basilashvili. He played only the Australian Open in 2020, losing to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals, as the COVID-19 pandemic affected that season on the whole. 

In 2019, he went an impressive 52-10, winning four singles titles, though no Grand Slams (losing in the Wimbledon Finals to Djokovic and the French Open semifinals to Rafael Nadal). 

The tennis legend has been recovering from two arthroscopic right knee surgeries he underwent last year. 

That Federer continues to play at such a high level when healthy is astonishing and a testament to both his greatness and durability, though that durability has been questioned this year. He also finds himself locked with Nadal atop the list of most Grand Slam singles titles ever at 20, and whichever player finishes with more when they both retire will have a strong claim as the best men's player ever. 

Djokovic is knocking on that door too with 18. It will be tough for any of those men to catch Serena Williams, who holds the overall Grand Slams singles record in the Open Era with 23 (Margaret Court holds the overall record with 24).  

Getting Federer back for the French Open, then, will make for compelling theater. Granted, topping Nadal on clay is always a huge task. Federer has won at Roland Garros just once (2009), while Nadal has toppled the tournament a record 13 times.