Roger Federer fans fell into despair when they heard the news that the 20-time Grand Slam champion will not be at the starting line for the Australian Open 2021. The signs were there: already during the Laureus Awards ceremony, where he was awarded of the award for best Swiss athlete of the last 70 years, the former world number 1 had expressed serious doubts about his presence in Melbourne in a month and a half.
Not even the postponement of the Happy Slam from 8 to 21 February induced King Roger to fly to Australia, where he will miss for the first time in the last 21 editions. The Australian Open also corresponds to the last official tournament played by the 39-year-old from Basel, who underwent two operations on his right knee that ended his 2020.
In a long interview granted to the 20min portal, his friend Marc Rosset provided some useful interpretations to explain Federer's absence in the first Slam of the season. The mind of the Swiss veteran is already projected to a summer full of appointments, with Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics which could be Roger's last effort before retirement.
Rosset on Roger Federer
"I can see Roger Federer coming back to Rotterdam," Marc Rosset and Yves Allegro said in unison to the 20min website. "This is where he went to seek the World No. 1 ranking in 2017, there are good memories," Rosset added.
Marc Rosset on his part stressed that the eight-time Wimbledon champion is known to be a stickler when it comes to taking care of his body. "At 39, he probably needs more time to be reassured," Rosset said. "Roger Federer is someone who takes a lot of precautions, he doesn't play with his body.
In his 20-year career, he has done everything to avoid the slightest anti-inflammatory. Should we fear the lack of matches? I do not believe," Rosset said. "Let's not forget that we are coming out of a strange year, with very few tournaments and to which will be added a mini ATP Cup and an Australian Open.
At the start of the 2021 season, Roger Federer will therefore only be one or two tournaments behind the others. So the real question is simple: does his body allow him to train hard? In my opinion, the only unknown is at the level of his knee," Rosset added. "Because when it comes to the game, the choices, I don't care. It's like riding a bicycle."