After nearly half a season rehabbing from knee surgery, Roger Federer is back on court training for the 2017 season. As a gesture to his fans for all their support over the past months, Federer decided to broadcast a training session live via Periscope.
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) December 22, 2016
The tennis season is 11 months long, making the off-season almost non-existent. Considering most players resume training in early December for the following year, they only get about three weeks off in total. Federer is in the midst of his December training block before flying to Perth, Australia for the Hopman Cup in January.
Roger adorned a fresh pink kit courtesy of Nike while he went through his routine at the Dubai training facility, as did the rest of his coaching staff and trainers.
His 2017 outlook is hopeful, following a disappointing 2016 marred by injuries. One day after losing in the 2016 Australian Open, Federer suffered a freak knee injury while playing at the park with his children. He was forced to undergo arthroscopic surgery in early February to repair the torn miniscus, causing him to drop out of the Indian Wells and Miami Masters 1000 events in March. He made his return in April at the Monte-Carlo Masters, reaching the quarterfinals. Shortly afterwards, Federer suffered a back injury and would miss the French Open.
At this point, it was easy to discount the then-34 year old as someone closing in on retirement; but come July of that year, Federer would amaze tennis fans the world over, not only by returning to compete in Wimbledon, but by battling his way to the semifinals. En route, he came back from two sets down to defeat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. Two days later, he lost to Milos Raonic, who would lose to eventual champion Andy Murray.
On July 26th, Federer announced he would shut down for the rest of the 2016 season as he recovered from his initial knee injury.
All was quiet for the next several months. Fans wondered if their favorite player would ever take to a professional tennis court again. Federer kept to himself throughout this period, except to congratulate his good friend and Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka.
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) September 12, 2016
Tennis fans have been surmising about Federer for nearly half of those 11 months. Now 35 years of age, he’s well past a professional tennis player’s prime. Combine that with his nagging injuries, and it would appear his career is on the wane. At least this workout, if anything, shows us that he still has the motivation to be competitive. Whether or not he’s there physically, we won’t find out until January.