The 20-time Major champion Roger Federer is sidelined for the rest of the season. Experiencing knee surgeries in February and May, the Swiss maestro had decided to skip the rest of 2020 and come back stronger in January 2021 in Melbourne.
Spending the last couple of months at home in Switzerland with his family, Roger had time to focus on things outside tennis that would have been impossible if the calendar was regular and he injury-free, charging batteries and starting to train again.
In 2016, Federer had knee issues too, playing only seven tournaments and calling it a season after Wimbledon. Determined to get back where he belongs, Federer claimed three out of five Majors between the Australian Open 2017-18, improving his Major tally that stood frozen since 2012 and proving his everlasting class after becoming world no.
1 in February 2018. In the previous three seasons, the Swiss veteran was the closest rival of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, winning four ATP titles in 2019 to finish third ahead of much younger opponents. At Wimbledon, Roger wasted a massive opportunity to add another Major trophy to his collection, squandering two match points in the final against Novak Djokovic but gaining enough points to keep much younger rivals behind him in the year-end rankings.
Skipping the ATP Cup at the beginning of the year for more time on the practice court, Roger kicked off the season with the Australian Open's semi-final run, advancing into Melbourne's last four after many troubles.
In the third round, Federer trailed 8-4 in the deciding tie break against John Millman, only to grab four straight points and avoid an early exit. The Swiss had to deal with an even more severe test in the quarters, playing against seven match points versus Tennys Sandgren in the fourth set!
Calling his battle spirit, Roger erased them all, prevailing in five sets but having nothing left in the tank for the semi-final duel against Novak Djokovic.
Roger Federer will miss a year after two knee surgeries.
After that record-breaking Cape Town meeting with Rafael Nadal, Roger announced a knee surgery instead of preparing for Dubai, planning to get back on the court in June for Halle and Wimbledon.
The coronavirus pandemic had halted the tennis action in March, and it was a perfect opportunity for the Swiss to continue from the same position as his rivals once the season would restart. Instead of that, his knee pain refused to go away, bothering him enough to undergo another surgery in May, deciding to skip the rest of the season and get ready for 2021.
At 39, Federer will try to reproduce the 2017 comeback and fight for the notable titles again, eager to extend his career and stay competitive, like always in the past. His coach Severin Luthi explained there were no setbacks after the second surgery, just regular ups and downs related to any post-surgery process.
Luthi revealed Roger's plans of getting back at 100% physically under the guidance of Pierre Paganini, thinking about every move twice after such a long break. "Rehab is going as usual; there were no setbacks. Like everyone after surgery, Roger has his good and bad days.
He is working with his physical trainer, Pierre Paganini. The idea is to get back at 100% physically again, as we shouldn't forget that the last time he competed was at the Australian Open in January. It is a big break, and it makes Pierre's work very important at this stage," Severin Luthi said.