On 28th December Roger Federer announced his forfeit from the Australian Open, the first Slam tournament of 2021 postponed to February due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The reasons for his renunciation seemed to be attributed to the recovery time from the knee operation, which was longer than expected, but the reality of the facts would be different.
According to Andre Sa, a former Brazilian tennis player who now manages the public relations between the players and the Australian Grand Slam, the reasons are due to the distance from his family. "Roger had two alternatives: to come to Australia with his entire family and go through the 14-day quarantine period, or to come alone.
- Sa explains - In the first case, however, Mirka and the children would not have been able to leave the room, unlike him, who could have trained according to the protocol. In the second case, however, he would have had to spend over a month away from his family.
'Dude, I'm 39, four kids and 20 Grand Slam titles. I am no longer in that period in which I can abandon my family for five weeks, 'Roger explained to me, thus clarifying that the priority at this moment for him is that of affection."
Roger Federer’s biographer and sports journalist Simon Graf recently appeared on the 'Tennis with an Accent' podcast, where he covered several important aspects of the Swiss Maestro's career. Simon Graf first touched on Roger Federer's heartbreaking five-set loss to arch-rival Rafael Nadal in the 2009 Australian Open final, in the aftermath of which Federer was reduced to tears.
Graf on Roger Federer's loss to Nadal in the 2009 Australian Open final
"Roger Federer was just very upset," Simon Graf said. "I think it was a big chance he wasted. I think he should've won that match.
Rafael Nadal had a really tough match in semifinals, Roger Federer should've been fresher. And he obviously wasn't in the fifth set. It was too bad he burst into tears, because he kind of destroyed the moment for Rafa for which there has been quite some criticism.
Yeah, it's just how he is," the German added. "He's an emotional guy. I don't think he's a great loser, he hates losing. He's had to learn how to lose after being dethroned and starting to lose more often."
Ljubicic, who currently coaches 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, said the absence of ball kids in Australia has made him realize and appreciate the crucial role they play in keeping the flow of a tennis match undisturbed.
Sharing his thoughts on Twitter, Ljubicic, who also runs a sports management firm on the side, wrote, “So sad to see AO21 qualification matches being played without ballkids”.