“His muscles deteriorated”: the worrying warning in Roger Federer’s team before his return to tennis

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Roger Federer has been inactive for more than a year and his physical condition is a concern for his return (Photo: REUTERS)
Roger Federer has been inactive for more than a year and his physical condition is a concern for his return (Photo: REUTERS)

Very few left days to return from Roger Federer to tennis. The Swiss player from 39 years, absent from the circuit for more than a year – he last played in the semifinals of the Australian Open 2020 – will reappear at the ATP 250 from Doha, which will begin next Monday, March 8. But after that long period without playing professionally, his physical condition seems to leave some doubts in his environment.

In an interview with the Swiss newspaper Daily indicator, Pierre PaganiniFederer’s physical trainer for more than two decades, spoke about his preparation and warned: “Roger’s muscles deteriorated considerably.”

This coach of 63 years, who met Your Majesty at the National Tennis Center of the Swiss Federation when he was a teenager and is one of the pillars of his team, he explained that his right knee surgeries were what made his set-up very difficult.

This knee (the right one) had been giving him trouble for several years. But you could have them under control, with adapted planning and specific exercises. He and the whole team had been working on it for a long time”, Explained Paganini.

Paganini warned that Roger Federer has very deteriorated muscles after two knee surgeries and more than a year of inactivity (@ATPTour_ES)
Paganini warned that Roger Federer has very deteriorated muscles after two knee surgeries and more than a year of inactivity (@ATPTour_ES)

His knee problems began in 2016 – he missed the second half of that season on the left – and last year Roger had to undergo surgery twice for problems with his other leg. When in 2017 he was half a year without playing, he returned to become champion of the Australian Open and then in Wimbledon. Although now, according to Pierre Paganini, the process is more difficult.

“The big difference from 2016 is that when he took a break after Wimbledon, his muscles were always there. Now we had a total rupture where the muscles deteriorated considerably. A long time passed between the first operation and the time of July (when she had the second one). His muscles were no longer in the same condition, the imbalances were extreme. He needed more recovery time. Towards the beginning of October, we started training at the lowest level. We tried from the beginning to incorporate coordination aspects into the structure ”, explained the physical trainer.

Pierre Paganini has been Roger Federer's physical trainer for more than two decades (Reuters)
Pierre Paganini has been Roger Federer’s physical trainer for more than two decades (Reuters)

But regardless of the increasing demands, Federer, who will fulfill 40 years in August, he works with great optimism and is focused on making a big return on Doha, a tournament that he has already won three times: 2005, 2006 and 2011.

Roger always sees things positively. He trains practically normally. If you could see him you would say ‘he’s not injured, everything is fine’. But we must not forget that only when all the stages are finished does reactivity begin to work. This is very important in tennis. We have been working on that for a long time and that is where you can see if the puzzle works, in all its variations. That is where we are now. This is good for him because it took an incredible amount of patience to get to this point”, He concluded Paganini about the Swiss player, who is currently fifth in the world rankings.

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