Roger Federer is gearing up for his 2017 comeback, setting training and tournament plans. The 17-time Grand Slam champion, who has not played since Wimbledon because of lingering knee problems, is scheduled to return at the beginning of next season. Federer underwent knee surgery following the Australian Open.
"I am completely on track," Federer told Tages Anzeiger. "The hope is that in [physical] conditional I am again 100 percent almost, like with treadmill and sprints. Now we increase the intensity, and also I will start to play tennis again."
Federer said he had only been on court about a dozen times since Wimbledon, and rarely for more than an hour at a time.
"The difficult phase was Rome through Wimbledon,” said Federer, “because I noticed something is wrong with my knee. 'I don't feel any progress, I'm not properly prepared for Wimbledon.'"
Despite not being fully fit for Wimbledon, Federer reached the semifinals, where he lost to Milos Raonic. The Swiss reaffirmed his decision to play the event.
"It was okay, and right, to play Wimbledon," he said. "I was surprised getting that far. That is why it was one of my most memorable Wimbledons."
Now Federer is turning his attention to his return. He is scheduled to begin in Australia, then play Dubai and Indian Wells, but said he has not yet signed up for other tournaments.
He also did not completely discount playing the Internaitonal Premier Tennis League (IPTL) exhibiton tour during the off-season. "It's a possibility we are considering,” said Federer.
Another consideration for Federer is how a return from the longest injury break of his career will feel like.
"I have thought about that these few weeks—what'll it be like when I return...will I feel pressure,” said Federer, currently ranked No. 8. "I will have dropped a few rankings.
"But if I can train the way I am hoping [during the offseason], I'm thinking that I can quite rapidly rejoin."