Roger Federer is known for his poise and grace and his enviable ability to sweep around a tennis court without even twisting his ankle.
But injury finally caught up with the 17-time grand slam champion at age 34 — but not during the game.
Federer was hoping to last his whole career without getting hurt and needing surgery. So he was very disappointed when a minor domestic mishap landed him with a serious injury and kept him off the court for seven weeks.
Federer hurt himself while prepping a bath for his twin daughters, ESPN reported.
The Swiss player is a former world number one, currently standing at number three, and the father of two sets of twins. He has two daughters, Myla and Charlene, born in 2009, and two sons, Leo and Lennart, born in 2014 with wife Mirka Vavrinec.
With all those little ones running around, someone was bound to get hurt.
Ahead of his first tournament since the injury, Roger told the press the story of how he got injured, and it’s remarkably normal, according to the Telegraph.
Federer was “going to run a bath for the girls,” and although he doesn’t remember exactly what happened, he said the injury was caused by a “simple movement, probably a movement I’ve done a million times in my life.”
At the time, Roger didn’t think anything of it when he “heard a click” in his knee. Unaware that this “click” was a serious injury,” Federer continued his day as normal, including a trip to the zoo, and soon discovered that his leg was swollen.
“I came back and had an MRI done in Switzerland. Saw a doctor right after the MRI. He said I had to have surgery on Tuesday. I did that in Switzerland. Here I am seven weeks and two days later. I’m very happy how it went, but clearly that was very sad when I did get the news I did have to have an operation because I thought I was going to get through my career without any. It was a big shock and yeah, disappointing.”
The injury, sustained in the simplest, most benign and admittedly admirable of ways, was actually his meniscus tearing. The injury required arthroscopic surgery.
Since he’s known for his “durability,” it comes as no surprise that he made a quick recovery. He was on crutches for 12 days and has trained for the past nine.
Roger Federer’s first match since he got hurt, in early February, will be played against Juan Martin del Potro in the second round of the Miami Open Friday. Roger said he’s not expecting too much from himself on his first day back in the game.
“Expectations are really low, which is nice for a change — just see where I am,” he said. “I’m just really pleased I’m back. I didn’t expect myself to be back here, to be quite honest, after the surgery.”
Lucky for him, del Potro is also nursing an injury. He returned to the court in February after an injury to his wrist laid him up for 11 months, during which he had two surgeries.
“His injury was much, much greater,” Federer said. “That’s why I’m really pleased for him that he was able to find a way back onto the tour.”
Tennis is in the news a bit more than normal thanks to a handful of controversies. First, women’s champ Maria Sharapova has recently been embroiled in a scandal after she failed a doping test and was suspended. Roger responded to the controversy by saying that he doesn’t think the sport has a doping problem but advocated for more testing.
The sport has also come under fire for some sexism as well, after Indian Wells chief executive Raymond Moore made offensive comments about the women’s game. He’s since resigned, but world number one Novak Djokovic handed in his two cents as well, and it didn’t go well.
He has been criticized for stating that men should get more prize money if they generate more income and has since apologized. As for Roger Federer, he has no problem with women getting paid as much as him.
“I’m happy that tennis has produced some of the greatest female athletes in the world. Equal prize money is a good thing.”
[Image via Neale Cousland/Shutterstock]