Roger Federer has explained that his pre-Wimbledon struggles were worth it in order to be ready for the 2021 edition of the Grand Slam.
The 2020 event was cancelled when the coronavirus pandemic took hold, amd Federer used the suspension of competitive tennis and the ensuing reduction in activity, to undergo and plan his recovery from two knee surgeries.
The 39-year-old returned to action in 2021 but has had a difficult start to the season. He failed to make a dent at a tournament in Qatar and then lost in the first round at Geneva, and suffered an early exit in Halle, where he traditionally impresses as he prepares for SW19.
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The 39-year-old has negotiated his way to the quarter-finals despite a five-set win over Adrian Mannarino courtesy of the Italian’s retirement, but his most recent victory was an encouraging straight-sets win over Lorenzo Sonego.
After that win he explained that his focus was on Wimbledon all along.

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates winning against Italy's Lorenzo Sonego during their men's singles fourth round match on the seventh day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships

Image credit: Getty Images

“I was willing to take losses for the sake of information,” he said.
“Just to be out there, get the body in shape for hopefully when Wimbledon comes around that I can actually wake up in the morning and feel alright, that I can still go out and play five sets.
“When you’re young, you don’t ask yourself the question but, when you’re me with the year I had, it’s all question marks all over the place. You have to prove it again to yourself that you can actually do it.”
Should he remain in the tournament all the way to the final, his likeliest opponent will be Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic, and Federer is not ready to give up yet.
“It’s very rewarding and it’s a good feeling,” he said of his progress so far.
“Now we’ll see how much more I've got left in the tank. Clearly it was important again to win in straight sets. I’m looking forward to the next round.”
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