In his moment of doubt, wondering how much of a future he still had in tennis after repeatedly falling short in Grand Slam finals, Roger Federer turned to his support team of family members, trainers and coaches. He asked them for an honest answer to the question every player faces when his body begins to give out, his production stalls and the pages on the calendar seem to be flying by.
Do I still have it — can I still win a major?
“Basically the answer was always the same from them,” Federer told the media Sunday after winning his second Grand Slam title of the year [19th overall] at Wimbledon. “[They said] that they thought if you’re 100 percent healthy and you’re well-prepared, you’re eager to play, then anything’s possible.”
Sounds simple, but remember that when Federer asked that question he was rapidly approaching 35 on a bad knee. He prepared as best he could, but no matter what he did, the results just weren’t there; he’d lost in his past three Grand Slam finals. And he was anything but eager to soldier on after Milos Raonic steamrolled over him and his aching knee in the 2016 Wimbledon semis.
In fact, Federer was so dejected that he decided to call it quits for the year.
That’s when he asked the question. That’s when his devoted wife, Mirka, coaches Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic, and others expressed the confidence that he repaid in spades Sunday in London. When all the factors are tolled and put into context, Federer’s resurgence in 2017 will take its place in the Comebacks Hall of Fame.
Federer said he…