Roger Federer hopes shot down in Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic claim

Roger Federer to miss US Open and undergo knee surgery

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Roger Federer’s comeback hopes have been shot down, as a former professional admitted he would be the only member of the Big Three unable to win another Grand Slam in 2022. Federer and his long-time rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are all currently tied on 20 Major titles apiece, but Pam Shriver believes the Swiss star will be left behind as the others all add to their Grand Slam tally.

Federer has barely played since the 2020 Australian Open, undergoing three knee surgeries in less than two years.

The 40-year-old was forced to end his season early last year – before tennis was suspended for the pandemic – and played just five tournaments in 2021 before shutting down his season once again after Wimbledon, suffering a “setback” with his troublesome right knee.

He announced he would be away from the tour for “many months” as he recovers and rehabs from a third surgery, and is all but ruled out of January’s Australian Open.

Meanwhile Nadal, who also ended his season early because of an ongoing injury, has already announced his comeback at next month’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition, and will be participating in January’s season-opening Grand Slam.

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Now, Nadal has been tipped to win another Grand Slam in his comeback while Federer is predicted to fall behind his rivals.

Former doubles world No 1 and 22-time doubles Major champion Pam Shriver has given her verdict on the Grand Slam champions for 2022, and does not believe the 40-year-old will be among the list of winners next year.

Speaking on Tennis Channel, the American predicted that Nadal and Djokovic would be able to shift their number of Major titles above 20, also tipping one Grand Slam trophy to go to a surprising winner – either US Open champion Daniil Medvedev or a first-time winner.

“They will change for sure, Federer will not, Novak will for sure, I think he will get to 22 in ’22,” the tennis player-turned-pundit said.

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“And Rafa, I think will win one, and we’ll say one for either Medvedev or someone who has never won one before.”

Fellow Tennis Channel presenter and former pro Jim Courier agreed with the doubles legend, believing Federer’s only shot at a title would come at Wimbledon, with the world No 14 set to miss the Australian Open – the site of his heroic comeback Grand Slam win in 2017, following a six-month injury break.

The former world No 1 said: “I think that’s probably where the house money would lie.

“I think it’s reasonable to expect that, given where everyone is health wise, Federer doesn’t seem like he’ll be able to play in Australia. Most likely he’ll try and target Wimbledon again, if he’s lucky enough with good health and we certainly wish him all the best on that one.

The pair also agreed that Nadal was the favourite to win Roland Garros, as a 13-time former champion.

“Nadal will be targeting Roland Garros and trying to round himself into form,” Courier said.

Speaking on the Spaniard’s recent announcement that he would be back for the Abu Dhabi exhibition and next year’s Australian Open, he added: “That’s great news, it’s great news that he feels confident to announce that now, a couple months prior to when things will get going Down Under.

“We weren’t sure how it was gonna end up with the foot after the surgery; this is a problem he’s been dealing with since childhood and hopefully its gonna be able to sustain him now this new procedure that they did on him and help him finish his career with good health.”

Meanwhile, Shriver thought that the 35-year-old’s experience with injuries and rehab would work in his favour, helping him lift a 14th French Open trophy next year.

“If anyone knows how to rehab from injury, it’s Rafa,” she said.

“He’s done it so many times, its a tough thing to have experience in. You know, tennis has filled the void so beautifully with some of these greatest all-timers being out for the last couple of months but one of the things I so look forward to in 2022 is seeing how Rafa comes back and what his quality is and can he win what would be 14 at Roland Garros.”

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