Tennis superstar Roger Federer sent his legion of fans into meltdown earlier this month when he suggested that the thought of retirement has been playing on his mind.

Although the 38-year-old is inching closer to the end of his stellar career, he has done remarkably well to maintain his fitness and level of play and is ranked No 4 in the world at the moment.

In an interview with Zeit, the Swiss legend said that he wants to enjoy his remaining time on the ATP Tour as mush as possible.

“I miss the feeling of playing in a full stadium,” said Federer. “Retirement is getting closer and I will miss tennis so much. It would be easier for me to retire now, but I wanna give myself a chance to keep enjoying my time on the court.”

Now, in a positive update for Federer fans, his longtime coach Severin Luthi has said that the 20-time Grand Slam champion is unlikely to retire in 2021.

“Roger still loves life on the circuit, I’ve never heard him say that he should stop because he wants a change of lifestyle or that he’s tired of travelling,” Luthi told Swiss magazine Smash.

“Nothing can be 100% ruled out but given that he still loves tennis and the time he spends with the friends that he has everywhere, I don’t think he’s thinking of retiring in 2021.”

Federer had announced last month that he had undergone a second surgery on his injured right knee and that he would not compete professionally for the rest of the year.

“A few weeks ago, having experienced a setback during my initial rehabilitation, I had to have an additional quick arthroscopic procedure on my right knee,” Federer had said in a Twitter post.

“Now, much like I did leading up to the 2017 season, I plan to take the necessary time to be 100% ready to play at my highest level. I will be missing my fans and the tour dearly but, I will look forward to see everyone back on tour at the start of the 2021 season”.

Federer had undergone an operation on his knee in 2016 as well and was forced to miss the second half of that year. But he made a stunning comeback in 2017 to win the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Luthi believes the current injury came at just the right time and his previous comeback will motivate Federer this time around as well.

“It’s true, there are parallels with 2016. Perhaps he could use that to his advantage,” said Luthi.

“The truth is that this injury arrived at the best possible moment. The day after the operation he was looking forward to a new phase in which he would spend him with his family.”