A Question of Sport: Sue Barker says goodbye
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Roger Federer has conceded doubts over competing at the summer Olympics in Tokyo this year. The 20-times Grand Slam champion says he feels unsure about playing and will wait at least a few weeks before making a final decision.
The Swiss’ admission comes just hours after rival Novak Djokovic revealed that he would consider withdrawing if supporters are not allowed to attend due to coronavirus restrictions.
Japan recently extended strict rules in Tokyo and other areas following another wave of the virus.
The latest extension is set to end on June 20, just over a month before the Olympics begin on July 23.
Supporters from outside of Japan have already been banned from attending and organisers are expected to announce a decision on who can attend and under what guidance next month.
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Attendees are set to be expected to provide proof of a vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
World no 8 Federer has said that he currently expects to play in Tokyo but appeared to suggest that he had some doubts.
“I don’t know, I feel two ways. I would love to play,” Federer told reporters at the French Open on Monday.
“I wish things were better around the world that we wouldn’t even have to debate the thought of is it going to happen, am I going to play or not?
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“My wish and hope and dream is that I can play it.
“But it needs to make sense for me, my team, my family, my country. I’m still waiting to see how things are going to develop the next couple of weeks and months.”
World no 1 Djokovic said that he would consider not travelling to Japan if fans are banned from venues.
“I’m planning to play the Olympic Games for now,” Djokovic said ahead of his first-round tie against Tennys Sandgren at Roland Garros.
“As I heard, there’s going to be some crowd, local crowd from Japan only. As I understand, 20 per cent, 30 per cent of the capacity.
“If they change something, if there’s not going to be any crowd, then I’ll consider if I want to go or not. Right now, I am planning to go, and I’m very excited about that.”
Federer began the French Open with a straight sets victory over qualifier Denis Istomin on Monday, winning 6-2, 6-4. 6-3.
The 39-year-old has said that he is using the tournament as a warm-up for Wimbledon this summer having undergone double knee surgery after the 2020 Australian Open.
“For me coming back after many months or over a year of rehab, the light at the end of the tunnel or the measuring stick was always: Can I come back to a good level against good players?” Federer added after his first-round win.
“I hope Wimbledon is going to be that place. Maybe there’s going to be even something here in Paris. We’ll see.”
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