After deceiving about his participation in the Australian Open (scheduled from 8 to 21 February), then making it clear that the presence had become 'at risk', a race against time, Roger Federer decided to give up the first Grand Slam of 2021.
It was not Roger who announced it but his agent, Tony Godsick, to the Associated Press. “Roger has decided not to play the Australian Open 2021. He has made progress in the past two months with his knee and fitness. But, after consulting with the whole team, he decided that the best decision for him in the long term was to return to the competition after the Australian Open," confirmed Godsick but admits that the Swiss can return at the end of February.
A news that displaces even the organizers themselves, as Craig Tiley, director of the tournament points out: "Roger hasn't had time to prepare to play a Grand Slam and is disappointed not to be in Melbourne in 2021.
The Australian Open has a special place. in his heart, we want the best for him and his return to the pitch later and we can't wait to see him here in Melbourne in 2022." For the first time in over 20 years (it was 1999), Federer will not be at the start of the Australian Open.
The Swiss born in '81 is still training in Dubai waiting for the return to the field which is still slipping. Between Coronavirus and injury, Federer's last match was at the Australian Open 2020, when he was defeated in the semifinals by Djokovic, then winner of the tournament.
Italian star Lorenzo Musetti talked about Roger Federer in a recent interview with Corriere Della Sera, after being asked about his 'most intense emotion' so far.
Musetti on his encounter with Roger Federer
"Warming up Roger Federer at the Australian Open last year.
'Hi, I'm Roger', he said while entering the court. I started playing tennis because as a kid, I saw him (Roger Federer) on TV dressed in white on the green courts at Wimbledon," the Italian said. Lorenzo Musetti is one of two Italian teens, the other being 19-year-old Jannik Sinner, who have made major strides over the past couple of years.
The two seem to share a genuine bond of friendship and mutual respect, and Musetti claims that Sinner being ahead of him in the rankings has helped keep the spotlight away. "Jannik is three steps ahead of me, I thank him (for his compliments) but he is the strongest for now," Musetti said.
"(Him) Being the center of attention is doing me a great favor. At the Internationals (Rome Masters), I was more tired from the interviews than after defeating Wawrinka!"