Roger Federer will not play the Australian Open as he continues to come back from two operations on his right knee, his agent told the Associated Press.
Federer last played the 2020 Australian Open in January. He skipped the rest of the pandemic-altered 2020 tennis calendar while rehabbing and watched Rafael Nadal tie his all-time men’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles in October.
“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,” Godsick said in a statement released to the AP.
“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,” Godsick said.
The 2021 Australian Open was pushed back three weeks because of the pandemic and will now start on Feb. 8 in Melbourne.
Federer returning from knee surgeries
Federer, 39, is training as usual in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He last played competitively at the Australian Open, where he lost in straight sets to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. Djokovic went on to win while Federer didn’t look fully healthy in the match.
Federer played in a doubles exhibition charity event the first week of February in Cape Town, South Africa. Weeks later, he announced he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and would be out for at least four months. He had a second surgery later on.
He has six Australian Open titles, eight Wimbledon titles, five at the U.S. Open and one at the French Open. Nadal tied his record 20 Grand Slam trophies at the rescheduled French Open in October. He defeated Djokovic, who has 17 titles, in straight sets.
The ATP announced the schedule change earlier this month and confirmed dates for the first seven weeks of the calendar. It said it will confirm the rest of the schedule, specifically weeks 8-13, at a later date.
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