Dubai: Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer has admitted that a gold medal is at the top of his priority list for next year’s re-scheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner, who will be nearing his 40th birthday when the Olympic Games are held next summer, wasn’t too sure about his participation at the Games.
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But the Swiss ace told SRFSport that he was still planning to compete at the Games and was targeting a third Olympic medal. “Olympics are always special. I’m excited to see what Tokyo will be like and hope the Games can take place in 2021. Of course I want a medal there,” Federer was quoted by the Swiss-German website.
“No matter whether in singles, doubles or mixed. If you have been on the Tour for 20 years, you are happy to have a quieter year. The right preparation starts about three months before the Games - you don’t think about it beforehand,” he added.
Federer is currently recovering from a dual surgery on his knee, the first one just before this year’s Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open in the last week of February and the second one in the first half of June.
Earlier this week, Federer’s coach Severin Luthi disclosed that the Swiss player is planning to return only at the Australian Open in January 2021. Federer is currently working his way back from double knee surgery and has ruled out playing again this season.
His team revealed his planned return date, although they admit it is still very much subject to change, not least due to the current coronavirus crisis. Federer is expected to start normal training on a court by the middle of August.
Luthi was quoted as saying: “We are sticking to what was decided. He’ll come back for the Australian Open 2021, if it takes place. However, we are considering whether to play a tournament just before Melbourne.”
This would mean that there will be a full year between competitive appearances for Federer with his last match coming in that semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic at the 2020 Australian Open.
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In Tokyo, Federer would be competing at his fifth Olympic Games with that, a third Olympic medal very much at the back of his mind. He teamed up with Stan Wawrinka to win the doubles gold in 2008 in Beijing and then had to settle for a silver in singles when he went down to home favourite Andy Murray at the 2012 London Olympics.
Earlier this year, Swiss girl Belinda Bencic had expressed her hope that she would be able to compete alongside Federer in the mixed doubles competition. Even though Federer currently holds the record for men’s Grand Slam singles titles with 20, he is yet to clinch a singles gold medal at an Olympic Games.
Considering all this, Tokyo 2020 is set to be that final chance of a singles gold for the 38-year-old. “It is already clear that I am at the end of my career. I can not say what will be in two years. That’s why I plan year after year,” Federer said.
“I’m still happy right now, but when the cogwheels don’t grip anymore, I stop,” he promised.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of this year’s Olympic Games before being re-scheduled for July 23 to August 8 in 2021.