Roger Federer

Federer Has Minor Knee Operation; Out Until The Grass Court Season

The Swiss took the decision to have arthroscopic surgery on a niggling right knee problem

Some rather surprising news here as Roger Federer has just announced that he has undergone an operation on his right knee and will miss Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami, Bogota and the French Open. 

The Swiss took to social media to make the news public which you can see in his statement below. He hopes to return for the grass-court swing with Halle and Wimbledon on his schedule.

Federer Knee Injury

My right knee has been bothering me for a little while. I hoped it would go away, bug after an examination and discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery in Switzerland yesterday. After the procedure, the doctors confirmed that it was the right thing to have done and are very confident of a full recovery. As a result, I will unfortunately have to miss Dubai Indian Wells, Bogota, Miami and the French Open. I am grateful for everyone's support. I can't wait t be back playing again soon, see you on the grass! Federer on his surgery announcement

So bad news, and unexpected. I did wonder why he wasn't pictured in Dubai practising, assuming it was the groin problem from Australia but it seems there was a more long term problem that needed to be dealt with.

The good news is that arthroscopic surgery is not invasive and he's obviously learnt the lesson from 2016 when he rushed back from a meniscus tear repair on his left knee. Only to be then forced to end his season after Wimbledon when he realised his knee needed longer to recover.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. ΒΏIt’s the same knee as before?
    The year only gets worse…

    PD: Funny thing, even the ATP was kept in the dark, they kept posting Federer points in Dubai until an hour ago.

    1. Different knee.

      Ah ye, I guess they heard just before he posted it, if not at the same time. I suppose his only obligation or correct move is to tell some of the tournaments he was scheduled in before he goes public with it.

  2. Oh gosh, is this the same knee? So sad to hear about it, wish for speedy recovery. Hope no further complications and be ready for grass and Olympics. I also worried Roger may drop out of top 20 come June/July πŸ™

    1. Different knee. I guess my headline somewhat misleading with “second knee operation” as you could infer it meant the same knee rather than second operation.

    1. Wow – that’s major change. I hope it’s for the best and yes, it means he plans to keep playing. I am sad that I am going to Indian Wells in 3 weeks and won’t see him there.

      1. Sorry for you, Irene. What do you have tickets for? And did you see the new rules for the entrance? Ridiculous restrictions!

    2. Me too was shocked when I saw it, I had indoor at tennis booked for 12 pm when I saw the news, Had to write a post at 11.35 then fly to the courts πŸ˜†

  3. I heard it’s the other knee. BTW for me, even though it’s a dark day, this news can result into two very positive consequences:
    1) He’ll be rested and without any pressure at all for the two most important tournaments of the season (Wimby and Tokyo), and we all remember 2017….
    2) If he goes through a surgery like this one, it means he ABSOLUTELY doesn’t want to retire

    1. Yeah left knee in 2016, right knee this time.

      Tokyo isn’t important though IMO. I dunno why people think Olympic Tennis is a big thing? Thiem knows where it’s at.

      1. Yeah agree. The olympics is a non-event as far as I’m concerned and I honestly wouldn’t really care if he just skipped it. The US Open and WTF are much more relevant

  4. Oh and he said “See you on grass”, without casting any shadow. So it means he’ll probably be ready before that, but he’ll rest until Halle and train specifically for grass. I am very confident that this move has been calculated much better than 2016 and that he’s gonna make the most out of it.
    And yes it’s the right knee, whereas in 2016 it was the left one

  5. Whether it is forced or unforced, this feels like the proper start now of the wind down on his career. I can’t see the Roland Garros crowds seeing him again for example. He won’t have had much prep time for Wimbledon so he will be on one hand fresh, but perhaps not particularly well worn and ready for a Grand Slam tournament.

    1. On this I disagree. The timing, and also the type of the operation, seems the same of 2016, with one BIG difference. He already announced that he is going to take a longer break and he was adamant, no doubts at all, that he would come back for the grass. It means that he learned from previous lesson in 2016 and that now he will take all the steps carefully and behave as close as possible to 2017

  6. Oh dear,
    Time is inexorable and tennis players do punish their bodies.
    I hope the surgery is successful and he emerges healthy and refreshed.
    Your health is more important than any trophies or ranking points.
    But it would be lovely to see Fed get the gold at the Olympics ……

    1. Yeah, but these news sabotaged my so carefully elaborated string test review! Haha!
      Dang. Fed’s going to lose a lot of ATP points.
      Other younger players have done way more harm to their bodies than Fed, so we are complaining with a full belly… The only other one I see having a long career without shattering tendons and muscles is Novak.

  7. In some ways he is probably only missing 3 tournaments in Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami because in 2017 and 2018 he skipped the clay anyway.
    The issue will be that he had a chunk of points to defend between now and the grass. His ranking could drop and that could be the issue come Wimbledon as he could be facing a Djokovic or Nadal in the 4th round or Quarters depending how low he drops.

    1. He scored 1080 points on clay, not so few ones as well. And in total he will lose 3180 points. Projected ranking place is the 7th, and I think he will risk facing the other two monsters only in the QF at Wimbledon also because he will rely on the grass ranking that will probably save him from going lower than the 8th seed even if he does so in the ATP rankings

      1. Great info, thanks.
        And yes you make a good point that the unique grass ranking equation for Wimbledon will keep him in the top 8.
        Then it comes down to a hopefully nice draw!

      2. I want him to face Djoko in the QF. Less pressure and faster courts. And he’s giving me the impression, in the last matches after Cincy 18, that if the physical conditions support him, he has turned the tables on the technical match-up. He has consistently out-performed Nole in Bercy, twice in London, and heavily in the first set in AO until the body kept the pace. I want this rematch, he deserves it and 2 more victories for Nole on grass do not resemble reality of facts.

      3. I think with grass formula he could still sneak into the top 4 but unlikely.

        “he has turned the tables on the technical match-up” Djoker has barely lost to Fed in the last 3 or 4 years. Let’s be realistic πŸ˜† it’s competitive when they play but Novak is a huge favourite.

        Anyway, I dunno why we are discussing a potential QF matchup at Wimbledon which is 5 months away πŸ˜†

      1. Jonathan I am referring to the last 4 matches. He has consistently outperformed him when the legs were answering (so I count also the first set in AO). And I am talking about a rematch with Nole because that final stings, I am strongly convinced Roger has the technical skills to take his ‘revenge” and that is why I was doing calculation on the seeding for Wimby. Realistically he’ll be between 5-8
        And I respectfully don’t agree with you on Olympics. Sure it wouldn’t be like a Slam, but Roger loves his country too much not to consider the Gold for his Switzerland a top priority.

      2. If I played someone 4 times and beat them 3 times, twice in Slams and they had the temerity to say they outperformed me in all of them I’d assume they were delusional. Wouldn’t you? πŸ˜†

        I think if the Olympics was such a huge deal, then he’d have sacrificed other tournaments in 2016 to try play it rather than try to get back for clay, Wimbledon etc. A lot of players will make the right noises to avoid any bad press back home about not caring about the flag. But tennis in the Olympics = πŸ’©. I think it’s cool Thiem has decided to skip it and play Kitzbuhel. If Basel were at the same time as Tokyo, what would Fed play? πŸ™‚

      3. I just saw the comment now. I might remind you that he put the Olympics among the 6 great tournaments of 2020, along with the 4 Slams and the Finals:
        So on this I think I can say with some certainty that Roger himself would disagree with you. ALso the comeback on 2016 was done earlier also because he was caring for the Whole season, he didn’t choose anything to skip or else.
        Now he is choosing and I think, as he said, that he is prioritizing these 6 tournaments, particularly Wimby and the Olympics, seeing that he’s giving up on RG 20.

        And for the match-up, it depends. First of all, let’s exclude AO 20 for obvious reasons, let’s then stick to the last 3 normal matches. I think Djokovic feels kinda lucky to have won Wimbledon 19 and Bercy 18. More importantly, I think any of us could see that, compared to the other matches, Federer Always had the possibility to turn the tables around. He didn’t take it (also credits to Novak) but I think the Swiss feels much more confident going into a match with Nole now than, to say it, 2013 or 2016.
        Last but not least, I would like to explain my definition of outperforming: I am Italian, I have seen my national team in football being consistently outperformed by many teams in European and World Cup during the years. But our defensive style (getting more offensive during the year, but still, it’s a historical consideration) still helped us making it on top during many important competions. Last World Cup that Italy won in 2016 was won with France being qualitatively much better than us, but we had probably the best defense of all times (numerically speaking) in a World Cup and therefore…..
        That was my concept of “outperformed”. I hope I explained myself and I am sorry if it sounds like I am insisting, I am just continuing a very interesting conversation where I might have explained myself badly.

    2. I am not sure. I thought Wimbledon raking was based upon a player’s performance there in the last 2 seasons. I need to check this, but that would put him at 2 or 3, I believe. One final and one quarter final, whilst Nadal has 2 semi final appearances.

  8. Bogota?!!

    Wow, shocked to hear this, but let’s hope this time it was more preventive than a repair to a tear. Grass season should give him plenty of time to recover and get fit to play again, I hope.

  9. Roger’s health is the priority. I do think Roger has taken a very good care of his fitness all along his career. Coming back for Wimby gives him plenty of time for a full recovery. He certainly had a very full program the past six months.

  10. Pancho Gonzalez played Wimbledon at a ripe age of 41 and still made the 4th round. Maybe Federer can at least equal that in terms of age?

  11. So sorry to hear this. Only hoping for a speedy, full recovery … and we all know what can happen if Fed comes back after injury or an absence ……. Go Fed! PS We loved Fed and Nadal here in Cape Town. To see Fed play live in a stadium of 50 000 plus people was the experience of a lifetime.

  12. Fed should ask his bff Rafa how to keep knees intact.
    How come two surgeries for Fed and none for Rafa? Okay, he’s 5y younger but…can anyone explain? Just the age? Different kind of issue? How about Stan’s?

    1. I think Rafa has tried of avoid surgery on his, he has tendonitis and surgery is usually last resort for the worst possible cases. He has done blood spinning and stem cell stuff instead.

      Fed first knee wwas a tear, no choice but to operate. This one I am guessing some sort of clean up but who knows the specifics.

      Stan’s was serious, two operations, huge scar. Looks invasive. The second was to fix a hole in the cartilage on his knee, fairly serious op I think.

      1. I’m guessing/hoping it was more of a clean-up operation this time. Funny that my right knee suddenly started playing up out of nowhere this lunchtime – before I read the news – coming out in sympathy, perhaps?!

    2. Completely different issues, all 3 of them. Roger’s probably the commonest, I would think – Stan’s sounded a lot nastier.

  13. Wow, this is a surprize eh? Fed never lets us know what’s really going on, does he? How long has this been an issue?
    Glad it’s not serious and I hope he doesn’t return too early. Will he just hang out in Switzerland now?
    The tournaments are probably happy this announcement was last minute since fans have booked ahead. How many people are trying to unload their tickets now?
    I’m happy for me I didn’t sell my soul to the devil to buy tickets for Indian Wells this year. The prices are through the stratosphere now.
    And I’m happy I got my Swiss mint Fed coin yesterday! Anyone else order one?

    1. Hi Sue, oh, you are so lucky to have your coin. My daughter tried to get one for me as a gift, but she had no luck. Evidently, a gold coin will be on the market this coming May, have you heard that?

      1. Yes, I heard another coin would be produced but I didn’t know it was gold! I lucked out for sure.

  14. So sad for him! Hopefully this gives us an extra year of Fed once fully recovered tho.
    My trip to Dubai looking Fedless now 😭😭 but I shall still go to look see as not been before!

    Thk god for all the extras we get with the Laver Cup, Match in Africa and LatAm Tour etc etc

    Come back healthy Rog! See you at SW19

  15. Nice of Roger to have played the benefit match in Africa before having his surgery. I’m glad he is taking enough time off to heal well and recover back his fitness and movement before coming back in summer. Hope all goes well and we see a better and improved Roger winning Wimbledon 2020 and the US Open after skipping Olympics. Yes, he can. πŸ™‚

    1. Yeah clearly not an injury that was stopping him playing, but prob couldn’t go full throttle. He was pictured icing his knee last year in Cincy so goes back a few months.

  16. Federer will be around #7 ranking in June…I think theres a chance he returns at Stuttgart…more court time after so long out to better prepare for Wimbledon + more grass points to get a better Wimbledon seeding (i think he could potentially get 4th seed if he did well at Stuttgart and Halle?)…playing both will mean its less likely he is under prepared for the slam, which would be the case if he has an early round loss at Halle and didnt play Stuttgart…after so long out I think he would be fresh enough to handle deep runs at both Stuttgart and Halle, with a week off before Wimbledon

    Olympics doesnt seem hugely important, but I think it is to Federer…he first kissed his wife at Sydney Olympics, has carried his countries flag at Olympics opening ceremonies and won doubles gold and singles silver…even if he were to play there and get a bronze it would be worth the trip to get the full set of gold, silver and bronze medals…it would also break the record for most mens singles Olympic appearances with 5…hopefully Coronavirus in Asia is over by then so it doesnt desuade him playing there similar to Zika virus at 2016 Olympics…I would also like to see Bencic team up with Federer for Olympic mixed doubles, they would be seeded highly, and would only need 3 x best of 2 set wins to get a medal in a 16 draw…it will also be a massive event for Uniqlo/Federer association

    Some Connors open era tour records still to chase – another 33 wins and 45 matches, and 7 titles and 8 finals needed by Federer…he should get the matches won/played maybe early next year, but the titles won/finals played record will be alot tougher

    No current active guys in their 20s have ever won a major and that needs to start changing…the younger guys, the likes of Thiem(whose playing style reminds me alot of Stan), Tsitsipas, Medvedev, Zverev need to actually start winning majors – they are the only ones, plus old guys Roger and Stan, I can see currently having even a chance of winning majors to prevent Nadal/Djokovic overtaking the 20 slam record of Federer

    I think this operation increases the chance of him playing in 2021…and possibly longer if he stays healthy after the knee operation, remember he has a China contract until 2023 and wants to win more majors(and winning another major would make him the oldest ever mens singles major winner)…if he is fit, his family is ok with it, and keeps enjoying it, I think we can see alot more of him on tour, even beyond his 40th birthday…the question is how does he want it to end? I would love to see him play as long as he still enjoys it but also go out on a winning note

    1. I think what tournaments he plays depend fully on his rehab and how strong he feels. Won’t be hitting a tennis ball for a few weeks, then got a lot of strength and conditioning work to do.

      1. Maybe a couple of rounds at Stuttgart as a try-out to see how it goes? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

  17. I thought Wimbledon rakings were based upon the 2 years previous results, so a final and quarter final would put him at 2 or 3, whilst Nadal with 2 semis would be 2 or 3, depending on which they rated as higher points tally. Or is there a different way that they calculate the points?

  18. So, Jon, what are you going to write about for the new few months? An in-depth survey of prize money round the world? πŸ™‚ Or just have a good rest and come back refreshed for the grass season?

      1. How about your lists or reviews of some of his best or most important matches?
        Particularly the ones before you started the blog?
        Wouldn’t it be a good idea to cover the “lost years”?

      2. Coronavirus. Just read, last weekend thze final of a challenger was scheduled, but it was cancelled (guys wanted to play without a crowd, but it was not accepted) and both finalists shared the prize money and ranking points. First real tie in tennis ever?
        If the virus will affect more and more countries (in affected countries, including Italy, there is no sport at all).
        Greece rethinking the Olympic fire ceremony.
        Japan maybe rethinking Olympics at all.
        And – tennis is travelling all over the year. Now with quarantines?
        Tournaments to be played without crowds – only TV?
        Players and spectators needing fresh No-Corona Certificates and wearing masks?
        I thinks, is going to be serious for the world (maybe China excluded – they are the first victim and will be maybe the first winner, no such discipline thinkable in the “free world”). This must of course include every sport, especially tennis being that global discipline.
        Maybe no more tennis after IW/Miami until the virus story is over? Will it be over anytime in the extent, people forget fears and will try to live “as usual”?

    1. The fatality rate is lower than with H1N1. It’s a quite an aggressive flu but as long as you’re healthy you body should be able to cope in a few days provided you rest and have plenty of fluids. Of course, the situation is more dangerous to older people and those with chronic respiratory issues.
      I caught H1N1 in January 2010 (I think it was in a rock concert and the band was… Swiss. haha). Apart from the usual symptoms (muscle pain, fever), which were a but more intense as in an “ordinary” flu, I had gastrointestinal disorders. All went away after 1-2 weeks.

      1. Yeah, it’s meaningless, so long you sit in the other 99,3% πŸ˜‰
        Communist propaganda – you mean Corono does not even exist? What about Italy, Germany, even Swiss.
        Chinese will first have a vaccine, so maybe you will need to buy one. Better not call them names πŸ˜‰
        On thing, which could be salvation for the planet – Corona cyn kill tourism, which is one of worst viruses ever.
        Fed is on the safe side, having survived so many Coronas (crowns).:)

  19. Back to the main topic. Thiem on Federer on Twitter “Me and everybody else love to watch him … it’s sad that he’s out until Wimbledon.” No word about him replacing Fed at rank 3.

      1. Doesn’t look like he had much chance, Djoker 3 of 3 on breakpoints, only faced 2 breakpoints himself, dropped serve just once when up a break in the second.

      2. The rest of the season will be Novak and Nadal brushing aside whoever crosses their path, leaving out a few ATP 500 as grain for the pigeons.
        Medvedev is in the middle of a fuel crisis, Thiem needs to fill his mind cracks with cement, Zverev need to repair his fuse box and Tsitsitsitsitsi should stop wetting his underwear when facing the big ones except Fed. The other infants can continue crying for porridge and practice not dropping the pacifier.
        Maybe Fed can take one or two trophies (one on grass and another one on hard court near the end of 2020) but that will be it.
        So it is written. (Insert spooky sound effects)

  20. And sadly Stan can’t seem to stop the flow of errors. Is Andy done?
    See the long list of players wanting to play doubles at IW?

  21. He’s smart. I think he realises that at his age, if he wants to truly have a shot at triumphing once again at Wimbledon, the Olympics, and finally the US Open, he has to make sacrifices. In 2016, after a memorable Wimbledon, fought in very trying circumstances, he took six months, for 2017 to then become perhaps his greatest masterpiece.
    Anything can happen, but I think he’s really gearing himself up for SW19, and then Tokyo. These two tournaments will mean so much to him. No matter what happens though, Djokovic must be stopped.

    1. According to @Alex coronavirus is communist propaganda. Also in Italy, South Korea, Germany, USA – everything communist countries πŸ˜‰
      ATP on the list of communist propagandists. Just published updated Challenger Tour calendar, including some tournaments cancelled.
      This here is of course another communist propaganda.
      It’s highly probable that all the Tour, maybe after IW and Miami, will be cancelled and only Chinese tournaments will be played. China may be somehow “communist” country, but China will be first over the mountain.
      PeRFect time for rehab after injury (if this is good matter for joking). Maybe not so much, if Wimbledon season and Olympics (probably Fed’s last chances for big titles) will be affected.

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