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'Roger Federer is one of the reasons I still love tennis,' says Italian legend

Italian tennis legend says he is desperate for a Roger Federer comeback, although not if it goes the same way as Serena Williams' did.
Roger Federer forehand at French Open

Italian tennis legend Adriano Panatta says Roger Federer 'is one of the reasons he still loves tennis' as the Swiss star prepares for another comeback attempt.

Federer has only played a handful of tournaments since the 2020 Australian Open due to a persistent knee injury.

That problem has required three operations to attempt to fix, and he has said it has proved far worse than he ever feared.

Federer will make his comeback at the Laver Cup in September, though, and then hopefully play Basel too before attempting a fuller schedule in 2023, and Panatta hopes those plans come to fruition.

"Roger Federer is one of the reasons why I continued to love tennis," Adriano Panatta told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I wish him happiness, he has an extraordinary career behind him and a wonderful family next to him."

Federer said that he wants to have one more crack at Wimbledon next year, and he will be focused on trying to make that happen.

Panatta, like the rest of us, would welcome that, although if it does happen he hopes Federer doesn't lose in the first round like Serena Williams did this year.

"There is a time for everything," he said. "[But] we have already given up with Serena Williams, I hope not to see a replica."

Federer himself is obviously aware that his career is coming to an end soon regardless of how his latest comeback attempt goes.

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He was on Centre Court at Wimbledon this year to take part in the parade of champions, and he admitted he had started to think about what he does after tennis, and how public his life will be.

“Time will tell how I want to deal with this, how often I keep looking for interest,” Federer told Het Parool.

RELATED: Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer ‘quality wise, the best ever match,’ says Grand Slam legend

“I think about that now sometimes, but not often. My main focus is on how to make my comeback in tennis. I work hard on that and I think about it every day.

“What feeling you get and how you react after such applause and standing ovation, I still don’t know that in advance.

“Novak [Djokovic] also said that: a lot of us are nervous before such a parade. We don’t do this every day either, we never get used to it.

“It remains uncertain, while all you have to do is walk a bit and say a few words. And I was quite emotional, although not everyone has seen that,” the Swiss great said.

“You never tire of such attention. That is why it is also difficult for many athletes to stop. Or why they keep playing demonstration matches. Because they love to perform.

“Because in the end we are not just tennis players, but also performers, entertainers.”

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