Roger Federer at the 2020 Australian Open, in Melbourne on January 30.


James Gourley / BPI / REX

This is an unprecedented fact in the recent history of tennis.

For the first time since the start of his career, Roger Federer will not participate in the next Australian Open.

The former world No.1 has withdrawn from the competition because he must continue his recovery after two knee operations, tournament organizers announced on Monday.

A too short preparation

The 39-year-old had ceased sporting activity since February but had resumed training recently and was on the list of participants for the Australian Open, which begins on February 8.

“In the end, Roger didn't have time to prepare for the rigors of a Grand Slam and he is very disappointed that he cannot come to Melbourne in 2021,” said tournament boss Craig Tiley.

The question now is whether it will be possible to see the tennis legend again participate in an official competition.

His health concerns had indeed pushed Federer to consider the end of his career in July.

“Retirement time is approaching and I know I will miss the circuit.

It would have been easy to retire now, but I want to give myself a chance to still enjoy tennis ”, declared the Swiss in the German press.

A tournament in "health bubble" mode

The Australian Open was originally scheduled to start on January 18, but tennis organizers and governing bodies have had to postpone tournament dates at the request of Australian authorities to put in place unprecedented health measures to prevent the spread of the disease. Covid-19.

Players will have to arrive in Australia from January 15 to observe a two-week quarantine in a secure "health bubble" around Melbourne Park, the tournament site.

They must therefore stay in hotels reserved for them and must not stay outside these establishments more than five hours a day for their training.


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