Cash: Federer's body is saying no
Pat Cash says Swiss maestro Roger Federer is the most consistent player in tennis history and hopes he can find a way to continue despite injury woe.
Roger Federer's body has been saying no for the past two years, but Pat Cash is hopeful the 39-year-old will return for another run on the ATP Tour.
After suffering a setback to his longstanding knee injury during Wimbledon, the 20-time grand slam champion has this week withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics.
Despite being without much match practice – playing just four tournaments before Wimbledon after coming back from two knee surgeries - Federer was able to make the quarter-finals at All England Club.
However, he suffered a demoralising loss to Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets in the last eight that promoted a fresh round of speculation over his future in the game.
Cash, who won Wimbledon in 1987, hopes Federer will be back despite his recent injury woe.
Cash: "Federer raised the bar"
He told Stats Perform: "First of all, let's hope that Roger Federer will keep going.
"I think he can, I think he just needs more matches and probably needs to make sure that he's able to last.
"But your body starts saying no at some stage and it's been saying that for a couple of years now for him."
Wimbledon winner Novak Djokovic is now level with Rafael Nadal and Federer on 20 slams.
Cash believes judging the Swiss star purely on grand slam titles is not a fair measure of his brilliance, pointing instead to his astonishing record totals of 58 major quarter-final berths and 46 semis.
"He has been the most consistent player that I think we've ever seen," Cash said. "He may not end up with as many grand slams but his consistency is just outrageous.
"All the other players have lost early in grand slams, the Djokovics, the [Andy] Murrays, then the Nadals had lost early in grand slams, Roger just doesn't do it.
"Of all the titles that he's won, I think for me, his most impressive record is how many semi-finals or quarter-finals in grand slams in a row that he got to. It was something ridiculous for 10 or 11 years.
"He never failed at any grand slams and that is just absolutely mind blowing."
However long he tries to play on, Cash insists nothing can sour the memories of an extraordinary career from Federer.
Cash added: "Obviously, he raised the bar as far as the standard of tennis has gone.
"The other players really had to catch up. Novak admitted it, he said, 'Without Roger there, leading the way, I wouldn't have been as good a player as I could have been'.
"That's the gold standard of Roger Federer over his career and I'm not sure anybody will be as consistent as him in tennis history.
"He's just phenomenal the way he plays, and we all of course enjoy the style, his movement. And he's a class act off the court as well."
Federer's status for the US Open, which begins on August 30, is unclear, with Djokovic looking to take the outright lead for major titles and achieve a historic calendar year Grand Slam.