Novak Djokovic hopes Roger Federer will make a return to the court and will be able to compete with the best again.
Federer confirmed he will not be playing at the 2022 Australian Open and would be "extremely surprised" if he is fit to play at Wimbledon in the summer.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion is recovering from a third round of ankle surgery and with the 40-year-old's tennis future in some doubt, his great rival Djokovic hopes he will get back to competitive action soon.
US Open
Djokovic at US Open: America relaxes Covid rules - but star faces travel wait
12/08/2022 AT 08:58
“Obviously Roger is an icon of our sport and people around the world love him,” Djokovic said after his straight sets win over Andrey Rublev in the ATP finals on Wednesday.
"They love watching him play, love seeing him around. He’s very important for our sport on and off the court. So for the sake of our sport, I sincerely hope that we can see him play at least another time.
"I’m sure he doesn’t want to end his career this way. I think he’s gonna definitely try to give it a last push, a last try.
"I’m not sure what his injury is, and I know he’s been struggling with a knee for quite a few years. So, yeah, let’s see."
Even if Federer cannot get back to the peak of his powers, Djokovic hopes he will get a proper farewell.
He added: "I think for everything that he has achieved and created for this sport, he deserves to play and he deserves to have a proper farewell.
"I mean, if his injury is not allowing him to play, so to say, more frequently on the tour.”
- - -
Stream the 2021 Davis Cup and the 2022 Australian Open live and on demand on discovery+.
Tennis
'An extraordinary line-up' - Tsitsipas, Ruud join Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Murray for Laver Cup
11/08/2022 AT 12:31
ATP Montreal
'I have to follow the rules' - Why Medvedev thinks missing Wimbledon may help for US Open
09/08/2022 AT 07:59