If you thought it was bad news that Roger Federer was going to miss the Australian Open, that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Roger Federer has confirmed he’s officially eliminated from the Australian Open, but unfortunately it just seems like the beginning for the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
It was announced earlier this week that the six-time Australian Open champion is “very unlikely” to play at Melbourne Park as the 40-year-old continues to recover persistent knee injuries.
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It may well mean that Australia won’t see Federer play on our shores again.
But Australia may not be alone as Federer himself revealed he could miss Wimbledon too.
In conversation with the journalist Mathieu Aeschmann and translated on the Twitter account of Tagesanzeiger sports editor Simon GrafFederer said he may not be back in time for Wimbledon.
“I would be incredibly surprised to play at Wimbledon again (2022),” he said. “Australia is not an option at all. But that’s not a surprise to me. Even before the operation, we knew that a break of several months would be necessary afterwards.
“I wanted to wait for the first major check-up before making a public statement and the check-up was very encouraging. I have started a long rehabilitation process into which I have put all my heart and soul. But the situation is not the same as in 2016. I have to be patient. “
Federer had injured his right meniscus again after his lawn season.
Doctors also announced that in January he could easily jog and slowly return to the square.
He could then return to tennis training in March or April.
Federer also revealed the biggest motivation behind the operation.
“I had this operation done so that in the future I could go skiing with my children or play football or tennis,” says Federer. “My primary motivation was to get back in shape for my normal life. But I wanted to tackle this rehabilitation with the mentality and the body of a top athlete. “
However, Federer also said that he expects to get back to the sport at the highest level, despite having only participated in two of the four Grand Slam tournaments and three of the seven tournaments that have been held since early 2020 this year.
In fact, he has only played 19 games in the past two years, with a 14-5 record.
And his year ended in August when he revealed he had a third round of surgery on the knee.
“As for my sporting ambitions: I would like to see again what I can achieve as a professional tennis player,” said Federer. “I’m fighting for it and I’m very motivated. I feel the support of my team and my family. We all wish I could say goodbye on my own terms and in court.
“I’ve faced similar challenges many times in my career. Sometimes without the public realizing it. And even though I know the end is near, I want to try and play some big matches again. It won’t be easy, but I’ll try. “
Regarding retirement: “I think that every athlete should decide for himself. There is no right time to retire. There is only the time that suits each individual athlete. It’s a very personal choice.
“I understand the feelings of the fans. It would be easy for me to say, ‘I’ve given a lot and got a lot. Let’s stop here ‘. But investing everything to come back is also my way of saying thank you. My fans deserve better than the image of my last lawn season.
“My world won’t collapse if I never play in a Grand Slam final again. But it is my ultimate dream to come back one more time. In fact, I still believe in it. I believe in such miracles. I’ve already seen it. “
It comes after Federer’s coach Ivan Ljubicic said earlier this week that the Swiss maestro is “40 and not recovering as quickly as before”.
Federer will be 41 years old when the Australian Open is held in 2023 – five years have passed since his last Grand Slam victory at the 2018 Aussie Open.
This leaves Rafael Nadal the only sure starter for the Big 3 of men’s tennis at the 2022 Open in Melbourne Park, while world number 1 Novak Djokovic continues to refuse to reveal his vaccination status.
The 2022 Australian Open will be held in Victoria as part of health regulations for key workers, with Prime Minister Daniel Andrews confirming last month that only fully vaccinated players and fans will be allowed to attend the event.