Twenty-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer has cast doubt not only on his participation at next year’s Australian Open, but his entire career, as he continues his recovery from knee surgery.
The Swiss maestro has this year had two surgeries on his right knee, initially in February and then again in June.
According to the Stuff website, speaking at the Swiss Sports Awards, Federer indicated he wasn’t yet at full fitness; although the expected delay of the Australian Open by three weeks could work to his advantage, with the event likely to begin on February 8.
“I would have hoped I would be 100 percent by October but I’m not today,” he said.
“It will be complicated for the Australian Open. I don’t want to take the next step until I’m ready. These three weeks could help me a bit.”
Federer indicated the summer of 2021 is his priority, with Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open all on the schedule.
TOUCH AND GO FOR MELBOURNE
The now 39-year-old suggested that even with the extra three weeks before Melbourne, it will still be touch and go.
“It’s a race against time for the Australian Open, we’ll see,” he added.
“I’m curious to see if it will start on February 8. Of course, it would help if I had a little more time.
“Let’s see how the next two months will unfold. I’ve been doing a lot of physio and physical work lately, now let’s see how tennis is doing.”
Federer said that if he does compete in Melbourne, his family will not travel with him, due to the quarantine arrangements.
Federer, a six-time Australian Open champion, has reportedly been practising in recent weeks, but his recovery is much slower than it was in 2016, when he missed the Olympics and the US Open with knee problems, before returning to win the 2017 Australian Open.
On the night he was voted the best Swiss athlete since 1950, Federer even went as far as to suggest he may not be able to return at all.
“I hope there is still something to see from me next year. But if that was it, that would have been an incredible ending for me at these Sports Awards.”