Roger Federer knows that his performance this week at the ATP 250 in Geneva will be the litmus test for his return to tennis after his pair of 2020 knee procedures.
The Swiss whose ranking still remains at eighth under the Tour’s emergency ranking system adopted during the COVID pandemic, knows it will be make or break starting with Tuesday’s opening match in the lakeside city.
“I need about ten games to know where I am,” the 39-year-old top seed told local media in the run-up.
“There are still many doubts about my form, although training has been going well.”
The 20-time Grand Slam winner said this week will show if he can string a few events together, with his immediate goal to do well at Roland Garros.
“Geneva is more than a small test, for me it’s the test to see if I can play several tournaments in a row.
“Now I have Geneva and Roland Garros ahead of me, two tournaments designed to get me back on track.
“The matches I play there will be like training sessions but at a privileged level.
“I’ve thought a lot about the deadlines for the return, there were long conversations with my team to find out if it was best to compete on clay or not.
“We even studied the option of playing clay but skipping Roland Garros; the best idea was to come to Geneva and then go to Paris.”
But it’s on the summer grass which will be most important to the eight-time Wimbledon champion.
“If everything goes fine, the next stops will be Halle and Wimbledon, we’ll see how long it takes me to reach the level I want ”.
The fully vaccinated former No. 1 said that his ranking of eighth is not a reflection of his true current position.
“I know that I should be at No. 800 in the ranking, since I have not played anything these months,” he said with some exaggeration.
“if my knee and my fitness aren’t 100 per cent, I won’t be able to hold there (No. 8) forever. But if I can be 100 per cent and do it well, it will mean that I am better than the 800th.”
Since his last event at the Australian Open, 2020, Federer made a brief two-match return this season in Doha before deciding that more rehab was in order.
“In these two months since Doha I have gained in strength, resistance and flexibility, there was no setback ”.