Roger Federer backed to win ninth Wimbledon title despite missing Australian Open

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Roger Federer may have been out for almost a year due to injury but he has been backed to win an unprecedented ninth Wimbledon title by Todd Woodbridge. Federer has not played since January 30 last year after injury contributed to his exit from the Australian Open at the hands of Novak Djokovic at the semi-final stage.

Two arthroscopic procedures on his right knee were to follow and the Swiss star had been hopeful of returning in time for the Australian Open, especially due to the delayed start meaning it does not begin until February 8 this year.

However, he confirmed last week that he is due to miss the tournament for the first time since 1997, with the superstar appearing every year since his first appearance in the 1998 Junior tournament.

Prior to injury, Federer had been producing performances which showed he is far from finished when it comes to competing for Grand Slams and had two match points in the 2019 Wimbledon final before losing an epic encounter to Djokovic 7–6, 1–6, 7–6, 4–6, 13–12.

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And Woodbridge – himself a former world number one in doubles – believes the motivation to land a ninth Wimbledon singles title and a first Olympic crown at the fifth time of asking could be key for Federer.

“A player of his stature, at some point when you’re not winning, you start to wonder about why you’re only making the quarter-finals, when you’re used to being in the final,” Woodbridge told Channel Nine.

“It doesn’t give the same adrenaline rush as it always has, and that’s when you start to think to yourself that you’ve got other things to do with your life.”

“For Roger to continue on, he’ll have to be able to manage his body when he does come back,” said Woodbridge, who won 22 Grand Slam doubles titles.

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“His goals, I assume, would be to play at the Olympics and at Wimbledon. Wimbledon is the major that I see him being able to win at this stage of his career.”

Federer currently has 20 Grand Slams to his name and time will tell whether at 39 and after a long injury lay-off, he will be able to add to that tally.

His relationship with Wimbledon (second letter capped up) is a special one and he will no doubt be determined to return in time for this summer’s event.

Federer holds the record for most Grand Slam men’s singles Championships with 20 titles and has been in 30 finals.

But whilst the tennis icon has won Olympic Gold in the doubles alongside Stan Wawrinka in 2008, he has yet to claim Olympic singles gold, having to settle for silver in London 2012 after defeat to Andy Murray.

Federer had created a stir in the tennis community in December when he hinted at possible retirement during a ceremony in Switzerland, when he was given an award for being the best Swiss sportsperson of the last 75 years.

He said: “I hope there is still something to see from me next year. But if that was it, that would have been an incredible ending for me at these Sports Awards.”

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