Roger Federer hinted weeks ago that he might not be ready for an already-delayed Melbourne. Now it’s official.
Federer’s longtime agent, Tony Godsick, confirmed today that the 6-time champion will not play the Australian Open which is set to begin a month later on February 8. It’s the first time this century Federer will not play Melbourne after 21 straight appearances.
In a statement to the AP, here’s what Godsick said:
“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.
“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.”
Federer last played on the tour in Australia where he fell to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.
He underwent two surgeries on his right knee which kept him from playing the restart.
Federer and Nadal are currently locked at 20 Grand Slams. With Federer missing a chance in Melbourne, odds are strong Nadal will pass the Swiss after the French.
Federer turns 40 in August. He last missed the Australian Open in 1999.
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