January 16, 2017, the first day of Australian Open, the seventeenth seed for the tournament Roger Federer, played his first Grand Slam match after a 2016 season impacted by knee and back injuries. Experts and critics alike looked on as to what was the best Roger Federer could do, most expecting the 17-time Grand Slam champion to put up a fighting season and come away with a few titles. No one was ready for the magic show ahead, not even the magician himself.

The prologue

After an injury had plagued season of 2016, Federer decided to call time early and so his season ended in July, choosing to rest, recover and spend time with his family.

The 2016 season was historic for all the wrong reasons for Federer as his knee and back injuries forced him to skip the French Open and then the US Open, marking an end to a record run of 65 consecutive Grand Slam appearances. 2016 also marked the first time Roger Federer dropped out of the top 10 since 2002 as he failed to win any titles.

The return

Federer started his 2017 season at the Hopman Cup, pairing up with Belinda Bencic, where he played three games, winning two and losing one against Alexander Zverev before eventually crashing out of the cup. Next up was the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam he participated in since the Wimbledon Championships the previous year. Federer, the seventeenth seed of the Australian Open went through three of the top ten ranked players before contesting the final with an old rival in Rafael Nadal.

Federer won the final in five sets, ending a run of almost a decade since he last defeated Nadal in a Grand Slam. Federer commented after lifting the trophy that he had only so much Tennis left in him, a comment that was followed up by title wins in Miami, Indian Wells and Halle, leading into a third seed entry into the Wimbledon Championships.

The previous year at Wimbledon saw Federer crash out in the semi-final losing to Milos Raonic, and in the process ending his season, this year he turned up in fine form, sweeping through to the final without dropping a set before the final battle against Marin Čilić, and just like the rest of the tournament Federer continued his sublime form, winning the match in straight sets, marking a record breaking 8th Wimbledon and 19th Grand Slam title victory.

He also became the oldest man to lift the trophy in the open era, while ending a streak of two previous final losses both against Novak Djokovic.

In his post-match interview, Federer expressed surprise on his success in 2017, "Honestly, I'm incredibly surprised how well this year is going, how well I'm feeling.", A remark which only showcases the humility with which he approaches his career. Federer has already qualified for the ATP Finals behind Nadal and sits at third in the ATP rankings. When questioned about the prospects of a return to the top of the rankings, Federer mentioned it is a possibility with a three man battle to the upper part for the rest of the season, involving the current world number one Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal.

Chasing number one

If Federer decides to rest and skip tournaments to focus on the US Open and the ATP Finals, the number one spot may be highly unlikely, but in a season where he started as the world number 17, to even entertain the talk of finishing as the year-end number one is a testament to the miracle season of Roger Federer. With two Grand Slams and three other titles already in the bag this year, tennis fans have been treated to a master-class in style and strength. And while many expect him to continue lifting trophies and chasing the number one spot this year, fans of the Swiss maestro know to trust in him and only await a simple but significant message, "See you next year".