Tennis fans are in a frenzy over the sight of Roger Federer back on the court for the first time since February.
The 20-time grand slam champion is ramping up his recovery from knee surgery and has hit the practice court in his native Switzerland.
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A photo of Federer about to hit the court went viral on social media this week, with fans erupting over the positive development.
“So happy to see that he’s doing so well!! 2021’s gonna be great!” one fan wrote on Instagram.
Another wrote: “That’s great! I live close and would love to see him.”
On Twitter, one fan commented: “Cannot wait to see Roger Federer playing again.”
🍂 Autumn practice for Roger Federer in Switzerland (on hard court like Australian Open's ones)
(📸 @cbgolfcoaching / Instagram) pic.twitter.com/5HiF84dWnF
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) October 28, 2020
It is the first time fans have seen Federer on the court since he took part in a charity event in South Africa in February.
Roger Federer on track for Australian Open
Last week Federer delighted fans by announcing he’s on track to return at the Australian Open in January.
The Swiss legend said he is practising pain-free after undergoing two knee surgeries this year and says he expects to return to the pro circuit at Melbourne Park.
The 39-year-old reached the Australian Open semi-finals at the start of the year, but missed the rest of the season after undergoing a second arthroscopic procedure on his right knee.
“I'm on the right track,” Federer told German-language magazine Schweizer Illustrierte.
“I'm gradually coming back but I’m going to take my time and don’t want to put any pressure on myself.
“I will only take part in a tournament when I am 100 per cent fit.
“At the moment, it looks like I can make my comeback at the Australian Open in January.”
While he has made significant progress in his recovery, Federer said he is still not at the point where he can train as normal.
“Not yet, more than two hours with the racket are not possible at the moment,” said Federer, who is currently ranked fourth in the world and saw Rafael Nadal equal his grand slam haul with a 13th French Open title this month.
“But I've been working on my stamina and strength absolutely without pain for a while.
“There will be no further operations.”
Discussing speculation he could be about to retire, Federer provided more hope for fans.
“I have been thinking about ideas for about five years,” he said.
“But as long as I am having fun and it’s right for all of us, I'll keep going.”
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