Mats Wilander believes that Roger Federer will play at least one more Wimbledon title before he retires.
The Eurosport pundit thinks that the 40-year-old Swiss tennis legend will be successful in his attempt to mount another comeback from knee surgery.
In 2020 Federer used the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to go under the knife to address a knee problem, having surgery in February and then March of that year.
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He appeared at Wimbledon last year, in his last competitive action before undergoing more surgery.
Given his age there has been plenty of speculation that he would retire rather than attempt a comeback but he appears steadfast in his refusal to step away from the sport as he tries to find full fitness.
Federer has eight Wimbledon titles to his name and Wilander, who has seven Grand Slam titles on his resume, paid tribute to his longevity.
“I think his biggest achievement so far is the dominance that he had early on as soon as he won his first major,” he said. “The dominance he had towards Leighton Hewitt, Marat Saffin, Andy Roddick, Juan Carlos Ferrero, who were all great players. And then Federer just literally went out and won everything except the French Open.
“Second thing is to actually step up and win the French Open when [Rafa] Nadal lost to [Robin] Soderling. To actually take that pressure and say okay, this is my chance and then actually delivering. Then I think the big thing for me, the biggest accomplishment is him coming back and winning three majors from 2017. He hadn't won four, five or six years and then suddenly wins the Australian, Wimbledon and then the Australian again in 2018.
“I think tennis wise, that is probably his biggest accomplishment because he is fighting against a generation that is five or six years younger than him. And there's nearly no players in the history of the game that have been able to keep up with the generation that's knocking on the door because the game moves in one direction. “
While Wilander was not 100 percent certain Federer could come back to challenge the very best on the tour, he still thinks he will make at least one more appearance at SW19.
He said: “I don't think Federer is going to come back unless he feels that he has a level where he can compete with most guys on tour. Does he have it inside of him in his confidence to go out on the centre court at Wimbledon and play Novak Djokovic next year in the quarters and feel like he has a chance? That's again, something that I don't think he knows.
“I'm pretty convinced that we will see him. If there's any chance physically, I'm very, very hopeful that we will see him play another Wimbledon and maybe even more than that. Now that we've seen Serena come out and actually say that ‘I never thought of retirement, I’m just enjoying playing’. I'm here to win another Slam or I’m not. I'm just here to win the match that I'm involved in and enjoy the process.
“I enjoy practising and I'm healthy. It's sort of the same attitude as when you're 18 years old. Serena now has when she's 40 years old that I'm sure Federer is going to come back with the same thing.”
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Watch daily highlights from Wimbledon at 10pm on Eurosport 2 and discovery+ from June 27, as well as the two singles finals live on July 9 and 10.
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