As it was feared to see Roger Federer on the field again, it will be necessary to wait a little longer. In fact, the Swiss champion has decided not to participate in the next Australian Open having not yet completely completed his physical and athletic training after the two operations on his right knee last year.
Federer agent Tony Godsick confirmed the news. Here's what he said in a note to the Associated Press: "Roger has decided not to play the 2021 Australian Open. Over the past two months he has made great progress with his knee and his fitness.
However, after consulting with his team, he has decided that it is best for him to long term is to return to competitive tennis after the Australian Open." The decision to delay his return was dictated by the advice of coaches Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicicic and fitness coach Pierre Paganini.
However, Federer's return doesn't seem that far off; always Godsick: "I will start discussions next week for tournaments starting in late February and then start building a schedule for the rest of the year."
Federer hasn't played an official match since last January at the 2020 Australian Open, where he lost to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. Over the next few days, Federer played a charity performance contest with Rafael Nadal in front of a record crowd of more than 50,000 people in Cape Town, South Africa, before announcing his surgery.
Speaking on the Tennis Channel, former World number 1 Andy Roddick opined that Roger Federer may not want to risk playing on clay this year given the physical demands of the surface.
Roger Federer hasn't played since last year's Australian Open
"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." Roddick added that Roger Federer has taken a more aggressive stance in recent years as he doesn't want to engage in longer rallies.
"That changed even before this last injury," the 38-year-old said. "We all made a big deal about the bigger racket, he's taking cuts on his backhand. That was not a necessity. He did not want to play defense as much.
If the rally was not over in the first 2 or 3 shots, he was going to make sure it was over by the fourth shot, unless it as a deuce or a 30-all point. Similar to what we saw from Pete Sampras for a lot of his career."