Roger Federer blames a bathroom mishap while on parental duty for the knee injury that forced him to undergo surgery for the first time in his career.
Speaking on the eve of his first match since the February 3 operation, Federer on Thursday said he hurt himself while he was preparing a bath for his twin daughters – he turned and heard a click in his left knee.
“It was a very simple movement, probably a movement I’ve done a million times in my life,” he said.
“I didn’t think much of it when it did happen.”
Soon his knee was swollen, and a few days later he underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He’s scheduled to return on Friday when he plays Juan Martin del Potro at the Miami Open.
Federer, 34, has been a model of durability throughout his career and is playing Key Biscayne for the 16th time.
Federer made a late decision to enter the event this month, surprised and pleased by his speedy recovery. He was on crutches for 12 days and has trained without restrictions for the past nine days.
“Expectations are really low, which is nice for a change – just see where I am,” the 17-time grand slam champion said.
“I’m just really pleased I’m back. I didn’t expect myself to be back here, to be quite honest, after the surgery.”
Federer’s layoff came during an eventful stretch for his sport, with Maria Sharapova’s career in jeopardy following a failed a doping test, and renewed debate about equal prize money for men and women.
Federer offered his thoughts on each subject and said he was “completely surprised” by Sharapova’s suspension.
Federer said he doesn’t believe tennis has a doping problem but would like to see more consistency in testing.
“I’ve been in Dubai now for 10 years there and been tested once,” the Swiss star said.
“That’s not OK for me. I get tested more in Switzerland, because the guy from Switzerland lives in my village. He comes and sees me the day after my surgery, and one week later.”
As for equal prize money, Federer said he’s all for it.
“I’m happy that tennis has produced some of the greatest female athletes in the world,” he said.
“Equal prize money is a good thing.”