Big blow for Australian Open, Federer withdraws from Aus Open 2020

Australian Open 2020 : Tennis great Roger Federer will not be participating in Australian Open 2021despite having made “strong progress” in terms of his recovery from the knee issues, his agent Tony Godsick has said.

“Roger has decided not to play the 2021 Australian Open,” Godsick was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. “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.”

Australian Open officials were not immediately available to confirm the report.

Six-times champion Federer last played a competitive match at the season-opening grand slam in January before he had to undergo surgery on his knee. He later required a second operation.

The start of the Australian Open has been delayed for three weeks until Feb. 8 due to the country’s strict border rules to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The 39-year-old Federer, who had been training at his off-season base in Dubai, had told AO organisers that the delayed start to the tournament could benefit him. However, his agent Tony Goldsick told the Associated Press that Federer was not quite ready to return.