Roger Federer has withdrawn from the Australian Open in Melbourne as he continues his recovery from two operations on his right knee that kept him out for most of 2020.
The news came via the Australian Open Tournament Director, Craig Tiley, who revealed the six-time champion would not participate.
In the end, Roger ran out of time to get himself ready for the rigours of a Grand Slam and he's very disappointed he won't be coming to Melbourne in 2021. The Australian Open has always held a special pace in his heart – remember it was Roger who first called the AO the ‘Happy Slam'. We wish him ll the best as he prepares for his comeback later in the year and look forward to seeing him in Melbourne in 2022. Craig Tiley, Australian Open Tournament Director
Federer Will Continue to Train in Dubai
Federer arrived in Dubai earlier this month in a bid to ramp up his training to get ready for the Australian Open.
While the intensity of practice has increased, news from the Federer camp revealed that he was somewhat behind schedule.
The 3 weeks push back of the Australian Open certainly gave him more time to prepare, but after the first week of his typical winter training block, it's clear the body is not quite ready to play competitive tennis.
Rather than head to Melbourne, the Swiss will continue to train in Dubai and map out a schedule for the rest of the year.
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. Tony Godsick, Federer's Agent
The news doesn't come as a huge surprise given the tidbits of information we've heard over the last few weeks.
I was optimistic back in November when practice intensity had increased but given Federer had only played few practice sets against Ivo Heuberger rather than fly in some tougher opposition to Switzerland, he was obviously behind schedule.
Since then, I've heard practice has been going ok, but his level nor fitness is there, and he's not winning too many practice sets.
What do you guys think of the news? Did it come as a surprise? Let me know in the comments.