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Roger Federer told he 'risks making a fool of himself' if he returns to tennis

Roger Federer has been urged to seriously reconsider comeback to tennis: "If you like tennis, fine, but being competitive at 40? No."
Roger Federer disappointed at French Open

Roger Federer risks 'making a fool of himself' if he attempts to return to tennis, says former Roland Garros doubles champion Ion Tiriac.

Federer has not played for a year after requiring three knee operations in the last two-and-a-half years.

He has confirmed he plans comeback this year, with the Laver Cup and Basel the tournaments he will play.

It is then his plan to return to a bigger schedule in 2023, although Tiriac, who used to own the Madrid Masters, is far from convinced Federer is making the right decision.

Asked about Federer's planned comeback, Tiriac told claytennis.com: “You can play tennis for fun. Which would be a great thing.

"Be careful, though: it would be a pity if he made a fool of himself. I see it as a danger because he hasn’t played for so long.

"If you like tennis, fine, but being competitive at 40? No, no."

Tiriac also had some criticism for Federer over how he managed his comeback last year, saying he ultimately disrespected Roland Garros for little reason.

Federer played the French Open last year and impressed before withdrawing ahead of his fourth round match against Matteo Berrettini.

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The reason he gave was that he wanted to focus on Wimbledon, essentially revealing he saw Roland Garros as little more than a fitness exercise.

He then went on to lose in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon to Hubert Hurkacz and he has not been on an ATP tennis court since.

"He also makes mistakes," Tiriac said. "Coming to Roland Garros last year and left saying no, that he wants to prepare for Wimbledon.

Roger Federer salutes Wimbledon crowd

"How can he afford to tell a Grand Slam like Roland Garros that he is going to leave for Wimbledon? He walks to Wimbledon directly, and he’s done."

Author's comment: We all want to see the Roger Federer of old again, but Titiac is right to say there would be big risks attached to a comeback.

Look at how long it has taken players like Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka to get back to winning matches. Look at Dominic Thiem's struggles. While none are Roger Federer, all are Grand Slam winners and younger men.

Federer will have his 41st birthday before he is back playing tennis. The fact of the matter is, he doesn't have time to get back to his former self, no matter how much we want him to.

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