Roger Federer, arguably the greatest tennis player in the history of the sport, won’t play at the 2021 Australian Open. The news was confirmed on Sunday by Federer’s representative Tony Godsick.
Federer hasn’t played tennis since last year’s Australian Open, being forced to undergo a knee surgery in February that ruled him out for the remainder of the season. The 39-year-old star initially planned to make a full recovery in time for 2021, but several setbacks prolonged his rehab.
“Roger has decided not to play the 2021 Australian Open,” said Godsick in a statement released to media. “He has made strong progress in the last couple of months with his knee and his fitness. However, after consultation with his team, he decided that the best decision for him in the long run is to return to competitive tennis after the Australian Open.”
According to Godsick, Federer is now eyeing a return in late February, and the two are working on a tournament schedule for the upcoming year.
Roger Federer won six Australian Open titles, with the last one coming in 2018. He also has one finals loss to Rafael Nadal in 2009 and eight semi-finals appearances.
This year’s edition of the tournament was postponed three weeks due to a coronavirus pandemic. The opening matches are now set for February 8th, while the finals should take place on February 20th for the women’s singles and February 21st for the men’s singles.