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'Roger Federer will retire at Basel this year,' claims former foe

Roger Federer insists he is planning to return to the ATP Tour next year, but is that all a ruse to hide his real retirement plans? One former foe believes so.
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Former world number three Nikolay Davydenko believes Roger Federer will retire at Basel this year.

Federer has barely played in two-and-a-half years now due to a knee injury that has required three operations to correct.

He is on the comeback trail again and recently told the press in Switzerland that it is his intention to make a full return to the ATP Tour in 2023.

His current comeback plans are to play the Laver Cup in September and then the Basel Indoors in his hometown.

Davydenko, though, thinks that will be the last we will see of Federer on the ATP Tour, with him about to turn 41-years-old later this summer.

"I think he is playing in Basel to finish his career there. That's my opinion," Davydenko told claytennis.

Roger Federer has an imperious record against most players he has ever faced, but he was particularly good against Davydenko.

The Russian lost 17 of his 19 meetings with Federer during his career, and he said that was mainly down to an often overlooked element of the 20-time Grand Slam winner's game.

"I had so many opportunities against Federer, but he was always a much better player near the end of the sets," he said. "I had set points, I made it into the tiebreaks, but then I was always losing.

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"Federer was my toughest opponent. Why? Because his forehand was extremely fast and his serve was very accurate.

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"I could not gain any sort of control against him."

Author's comment: If anyone says a similar thought to Davydenko's hasn't at least crossed their mind, then I am not sure I believe them.

Roger Federer will have no ranking at all after Wimbledon this year. Coming back from the injuries he has had of late is a long road back for younger men, never mind someone in his 40s.

On the other hand, is Federer really putting himself through all this rehab and training just to play two tournaments and then retire? As plans go, that's probably not an especially logical one.

It's reasonable enough to suggest Basel is where Federer will ultimately decide to hang up his racket, but there is nothing to stop him doing it next year, is there? We will all find out soon enough, anyway.

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