Former World No. 1 Roger Federer may not have retired last year and would have still been in the top five players in the world if it wasn’t for his knee injury, said the 20-time Major winner’s coach Ivan Ljubicic on Thursday.
In an interview with tennismajors.com, Ljubicic said, “I think that (injury) was the only way for him to stop, honestly. I don’t think there was any other way. His ability would not go down. His fitness would maybe, with time, he would be slightly slower, slightly this, slightly that, but his genius would still keep him in the top, whatever, five.
“I honestly think that the only way for him to stop was the body was not able to carry on. Looking back, because he loves it so much, there was no way for him to make a decision to stop playing because, I don’t know,: ‘I don’t want to play anymore’. That would never happen.”
Following struggles with knee injuries, the 41-year-old Federer retired from professional tennis last year at the Laver Cup in London after playing one final doubles match, partnering Rafael Nadal, one of his biggest rivals in a career that lasted a little over two decades.
Former World No. 3 Ljubicic joined Severin Luthi on Federer’s coaching team in 2016. A year later, the Swiss player won the Australian Open, his first Major since Wimbledon 2012. Federer clinched his final Major by successfully defending the title in Melbourne in 2018.
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