Tennis fans have feared this for weeks. Now Roger Federer actually had to cancel the Australian Open.
After two knee operations, the training deficit is too great! The Grand Slam record winner will not take part in the Australian Open in early February. The AP news agency reported on Monday, citing a statement by Federer’s manager Tony Godsick.
“Roger has decided not to play the Australian Open in 2021,” it said. The 39-year-old Swiss has made great progress in recent months, both with his knees and with his fitness. “Nevertheless, after consulting with his team, he decided that in the long term it would be the best decision for him to return to professional tennis after the Australian Open.”
A return to the tennis court was only planned after the first major tennis tournament of the year, it said. Federer was on the entry list for the Australian Open. In mid-December, however, the Swiss had already announced that participation could be tight. He is not yet at 100 percent. The start of the Australian Open had been postponed by three weeks to February 8th. This is to give all tennis professionals the opportunity to complete their two-week mandatory quarantine before entering Australia.
The announcement of Federer’s withdrawal is a blow to the organizers of the Australian Open. Director Craig Tiley had said Australia was looking forward to welcoming the world’s best players to Melbourne. Melbourne and the state of Victoria have been Covid-19-free for almost two months.
In addition to the world number one Novak Djokovic from Serbia and Ashleigh Barty from Australia, the entry list also includes the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, winner of 20 Grand Slam titles, and Alexander Zverev from Hamburg.