Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal had to miss the second consecutive US Open, both due to injury. The Swiss champion will have knee surgery for the third time in the last year and a half, after having played just 13 matches in all of 2021. Many problems also for the Spaniard, who has experienced a troubled season due to back problems and above all to the foot. The 35-year-old from Manacor tried to return to the field in Washington, but it was immediately evident that the pain had not disappeared. A few days later, the 13-time Roland Garros winner announced his forfeit in New York and ended his year prematurely. If we add to the absences of Roger and Rafa those of Serena and Venus Williams, it is not difficult to understand that we are witnessing the end of an era. In a press conference after beating Martina Trevisan in the second round, Belinda Bencic – fresh from the extraordinary triumph at the Tokyo Olympics – expressed her opinion on the complicated situation of Federer and Nadal.
Bencic reflects on Roger Federer
Belinda Bencic was asked if she felt disappointed that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal could end their careers without ever having played each other at the US Open. She answered in the affirmative, but cautioned that only Federer himself could give an appropriate response to the question. “Oh, yeah, I mean, of course I hope he will play Nadal again and he will play again,” Bencic said. “But I’m sure, but I cannot answer this question, because I don’t really know — you have to ask him for that.” Bencic further stated that she hopes to see Federer back in action soon, before claiming she is “very positive” that he will return to tennis. “But for me personally, I definitely hope that he will be back soon,” Bencic said. “I’m very positive about it, for sure, because he loves tennis so much. Hopefully we can see him again.” Bencic further mentioned how pressure is a “privilege” for her, given that she hails from a country with a rich tennis heritage. “But for me, it’s not a pressure at all, because to even kind of have this chance in Switzerland, because Switzerland is a very country that has great players, so a little bit spoiled maybe in this,” she added. “But I don’t see this as pressure. I see it for sure as a privilege.”