Roger Federer has officially withdrawn from the Australian Open. Speculations about the former world number one missing the first Grand Slam tournament of the season have become reality as Tony Godsick - Federer’s agent and CEO of his management company TEAM8 ‘- confirmed today in a statement to AP.
‘Roger has decided not to play the 2021 Australian Open - the statement read - 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’.
While the Swiss’ recovery from the knee surgery is going well, the first Grand Slam of the season still seems to be too early for Federer, whose comeback is expected to happen later in the season. ‘I will start discussions this coming week for tournaments that begin in late February - continued Godsick - and then start to build a schedule for the rest of the year’.
Roger Federer announces withdrawal from the Australian Open 2021
The delayed start of the Australian Open, with the upcoming edition being pushed down the line in the ATP calendar and expected to begin on February 8th, had given organizers and fans high hopes to potentially see the Swiss in what would have been his 22nd consecutive appearance in the tournament.
The decision was a tough one but it seemed to be a shared input from both Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic, as well as Federer’s fitness coach Pierre Paganini. The Swiss had undergone arthroscopic surgery on his knee straight after the exhibition event played together with Rafael Nadal, Bill Gates and Trevor Noah in Cape Town, South Africa, last February.
Prior to that, he had made his last official appearance on the tour right at the Australian Open, where he had reached the semifinals, losing in straight sets to eventual champion Novak Djokovic. Federer's schedule will be announced during the upcoming weeks but it appears already clear that the former world number one will be coming back on the tour after the Australian Open.
The Swiss will still have three more chances this year to potentially win his 21st Grand Slam title, with his eyes set for his 9th career title at the Championships.