In the end, unfortunately, the decision that everyone hoped not to have to hear has arrived: Roger Federer will not go to Melbourne to play the Australian Open. This was announced by his agent Tony Godsick, who broke the news to the Associated Press explaining that the Swiss champion felt it would be more appropriate to wait a little longer before returning as a protagonist to competitions.
“Roger - said Godsick - has decided not to take part in the Australian Open 2021. He has made great progress in recent months with his physical condition and with his knee, but despite this, after several consultations with his team, he has decided that the best decision for the long term is to return to tennis competition after the Australian Open”.
The Swiss will therefore not even take part in the ATP Cup (also scheduled in Melbourne the week before the Australian Open), during which he should have made his contribution to the Swiss team together with his friend Stan Wawrinka.
Former World No. 1 Andy Roddick believes that Roger Federer's withdrawal from the Australian Open could be a sign that the the 20-time Grand Slam winner is likely to make a comeback during the grasscourt season.
Roddick on Roger Federer
"If it's not Australia, when is it?" Andy Roddick questioned.
"Is Roger Federer gonna jump back again on the clay...and risk a knee slipping sliding around a couple of months? Does not playing Australia mean that we are looking at him on grass at a tournament that he actually thinks he's gonna win? (I dont know if) he's gonna play a French Open where he's not maybe one of the six, seven, eight favourites on that surface," Roddick added.
"Or is he going to wait a little longer and at least play a home game on a surface that he likes." The coronavirus pandemic has affected the Australian Open badly. Due to quarantine rules, it became impossible to host the qualifiers in Melbourne, and hence, they had to be moved to Qatar.
In addition to that, the event was postponed from January 18 to February 8. Despite such changes, there are still many questions that players have over the event taking place. However, the organizers will soon answer them, just like they did with travel arrangements.
After many problems initially, things are looking good for the Melbourne Slam. Through the travel arrangements provided by the organizers, players will travel to Australia at the end of this month. They will first play some warm-up events like the ATP Cup, and then they will battle it out for one of the biggest titles in the sport. Who do you think will win down under?