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Federer says comeback in time for the Australian Open will be “tight”
The 39-year-old has been rehabbing a right knee injury and hasn’t competed since losing in the semifinals of Melbourne this year.
December 13, 2020
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While the 2021 Australian Open is expected to begin three weeks later than planned on February 8, six-time champion Roger Federer may not be ready to return by then.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played a tournament since losing to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals at Melbourne Park on January 30. After taking part in February’s Match For Africa 6 in Cape Town, Federer underwent two separate procedures on his right knee.
In a translation reported by SRF, Federer said, “I would have hoped that I would be at 100 percent by October. But I still am not today. It will be tight for the Australian Open.”
The 39-year-old was named Switzerland’s best athlete of the past 70 years when the Sports Awards aired Sunday night from Zurich.
Though Federer sounded optimistic about his recovery progression, the Basel native was clear he had no intention of rushing back to meet Australia’s timeline.
“We had a plan from the start in which we took enough time,” he said. “Only when we are sure that we can move on to the next step will we do it.”
Players traveling to the first major of 2021 will reportedly have to arrive between January 15 and 17 to complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine. It is unknown whether an ATP tournament will be held the week before the Happy Slam begins.
In a chat with Kei Nishikori for WOWOW that ran last week, it was already clear Federer has his heart set on being fully fit for another event, the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Federer won silver in singles at London 2012 after capturing gold in doubles with Stan Wawrinka in Beijing in 2008. He missed the 2016 Rio Games due to a left knee injury.
“Big plan is to be there for the Olympics. This is for me, the big one. Maybe selfishly for me, it is not a bad thing that it was moved a little bit because of the problems I had last year,” he told Nishikori. “Let’s hope for the best for the Olympic Games coming to Tokyo this next year. This is clearly also one of my big goals. I really hope I can come back to Tokyo for that.”