Roger Federer to miss US Open and undergo knee surgery
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Roger Federer is set to miss the Australian Open for a second successive year as he continues to recover from his third round of knee surgery in 18 months.
Due to his recent injury issues many have suggested that the Swiss’ retirement could well be looming, however his coach Ivan Ljubicic did have some good news for tennis fans, reassuring that Federer ‘won’t retire all of a sudden’.
The 40-year-old’s tennis has been hugely limited in 2021, having played just 13 matches with his last coming way back in July when he lost in straight sets to Hubert Hurkacz in his Wimbledon quarter-final.
Long-term coach Ljubicic has now confirmed that his time away from the court will be prolonged even further, as he remains sidelined for the upcoming Grand Slam event in Melbourne.
The Croatian told Sky Sports: “Roger Federer is very unlikely to play the Australian Open. He is 40 and doesn’t recover as fast as before.
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He did however go on to play down any chance of an imminent retirement for the tennis great, adding: “But he wants to compete again and won’t retire all of a sudden.
“We will be able to see Roger again next year. I don’t know when exactly, but he is undergoing rehabilitation. He is recovering slowly, he is not in a hurry.”
Federer’s absence from the event is yet another setback for event organisers, who were of course hoping to have had the Swiss star alongside his two long-time rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, for a reunion of the sport’s ‘big three’.
Nadal himself also worried fans when rumours began that he was approaching his retirement due to his own injury problems.
Back in October the Spaniard confirmed he ‘didn’t know’ when he was going to play tennis again thanks to an ongoing foot problem, however has since confirmed that he will be fit and ready in time for the first Grand Slam of the year.
Doubt has all been cast over defending champion Djokovic, and his chances of competing in Melbourne due to Australia’s strict COVID-19 protocol.
This comes after Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke confirmed recently that people travelling into the country must have had two doses of the vaccine, with the world No 1 reluctant to reveal his vaccination status.
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Speaking previously the reigning champion said: “Things being as they are, I still don’t know if I will go to Melbourne.
“I will not reveal my status whether I have been vaccinated or not, it is a private matter and an inappropriate inquiry.
“Of course I want to go, Australia is my most successful grand slam tournament. I want to compete, I love this sport and I am still motivated.”
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