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Tennis news – Roger Federer praises Novak Djokovic’s ‘exceptional year’ and says Calendar Slam can happen again

Tennis news - Roger Federer praises Novak Djokovic's 'exceptional year' and says Calendar Slam can happen again

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Roger Federer thinks it’s still possible for the Calendar Slam to be achieved again after Novak Djokovic fell at the final hurdle at the US Open.

Djokovic was bidding to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four majors in the same year.

However, he was beaten in straight sets in the final by Daniil Medvedev and said afterwards that he was relieved he no longer had to carry so much pressure.

Federer has won three Grand Slams in the same season on three occasions, but has never had the chance to chase the Calendar Slam as his only French Open title came after losing in the final of the Australian Open.

“I think it is possible that it’s going to happen again,” he said about the Calendar Slam.

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“We saw it with Novak, myself and Rafa [Nadal] that we come extremely close. But, you know, just doing it, I think you need a bit of luck. You need perseverance, strength. You need everything you know. And that’s why I think it’s going to be hard. But it’s possible.

“And I have to ask also what Laver thought because he was sitting first row watching Novak play. But what Novak did this year was, of course, truly exceptional.”

Federer was hoping to return to the top of the game this season after missing most of 2020 due to knee surgery.

However, he had to end his 2021 season early due to injury, having last played at Wimbledon. He says “every day is a better day” as he enjoys spending time with his family during the recovery.

“I’m feeling actually really good, considering you know, that things are not as I hoped they would be, but I’m recovering well and the rehab is going really good I must say. I’ve had no setbacks. You know, every day is a better day. I’m feeling strong and excited for what’s to come.

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“I experienced it, of course, already a little bit last year. And I was actually surprised how somewhat easy it was for me to go through the rehab process, because I know it’s not everybody’s favourite thing to do, especially as a top athlete. But I think maybe after all these years of travelling, it’s also it was nice to be home having more time for the family and other things.

“Of course, I wish I could be back on a tennis court as quick as possible, but I have to be patient. And look, it’s a slow period right now. And I got to take it step by step. And so far so good. So I’m very happy.”

Federer, Djokovic and Nadal will all be missing from this week’s Laver Cup.

However, 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer still thinks Team Europe are favourites to win the event for a fourth time in a row.

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“I think having Sasha Zverev as Olympic champion and Daniil Medvedev as the US Open champion on the team is going to be really good for us, especially for the singles. I think doubles indoors anything’s possible, to be honest.

“I think it’s going to be close in the doubles. In the singles we have a slight edge. But, you know, they have a lot of young players on the Team World. I think a lot will be possible.”

The Laver Cup starts on Friday, with every match live on Eurosport.

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