Roger Federer thanks frontline worker for efforts in pandemic
Roger Federer pulled out of the Australian Open after input from coaches Severin Luthi, Ivan Ljubicic and Pierre Paganini, it has been claimed. The Swiss star won’t be taking part when the competition gets under way in February. And that’s a blow to his chances of winning more Grand Slam titles.
Federer’s agent Tony Godsick announced on Sunday that Federer would miss the Australian Open, saying: “Roger has decided not to play the 2021 Australian Open.
“He has made strong progress in the last couple of months with his knee and his fitness.
“However, after consultation with his team, he decided that the best decision for him in the long run is to return to competitive tennis after the Australian Open.
“I will start discussions this coming week for tournaments that begin in late February and then start to build a schedule for the rest of the year.”
The Australian Open’s main draw was delayed by three weeks because of the coronavirus crisis.
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But Federer won’t be among the contenders and, according to The Guardian, made his decision to withdraw based on inputs from coaches Luthi, Ljubicic and Paganini.
The 39-year-old is currently training in Dubai ahead of a potential return as he continues to recover from a knee injury.
And it means that, by the time Federer graces the court again, he’d have missed a whole year of tennis action.
The Swiss maestro hasn’t played a tournament since late January at the 2020 Australian Open, where he was swatted aside by Novak Djokovic.
He did play an exhibition match with Rafael Nadal in front of more than 50,000 people in Cape Town earlier in the year but has been absent in the time since.
One tournament Federer is targeting in 2021 is the Olympics, with the veteran saying earlier in the year: “I love going to Tokyo. It’s a wonderful place.
“I am very excited to go. Obviously, it was a big disappointment for all athletes that the Olympics was postponed and now we are hopeful it will happen next year.
“My goal is to be part of the Olympics. For me, it has always been an incredible story.
“In the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in Athens and Beijing, I carried the flag for Switzerland which was one of the big honours you can get as an athlete.
“I also won the Olympic gold with Stan Wawrinka in the doubles. In 2012 I got the silver in singles in London at Wimbledon losing to Andy Murray.”
With Federer missing the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal will have a shot at overtaking his fierce rival.
The Spaniard matched the 39-year-old’s haul of 20 Grand Slam titles earlier in the year by winning the French Open.
And Nadal will be out to surpass Federer when the tournament gets under way in February.
Djokovic, too, will sense blood.
The Serb has won 17 Grand Slam titles throughout his career, three less than Federer and Nadal.
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