Swiss tennis great Roger Federer will be out of competitive tennis until the start of the 2021 season because of a setback in his recovery from surgery on his right knee.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion on Wednesday (June 10) posted a statement on Twitter to confirm he’ll be out of action for the rest of 2020.
The 38-year-old Federer had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in February.
The Swiss great had initially planned to be sidelined for at least four months but has barely missed any elite tennis because the tour was suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Federer started his statement with “Dear Fans.”
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) June 10, 2020
“A few weeks ago, having experienced a setback during my initial rehabilitation, I had to have an additional quick arthroscopic procedure on my right knee,” he posted.
“Now, much like I did leading up to the 2017 season, I plan to take the necessary time to be 100% ready to play at my highest level. I will look forward to seeing everyone back on tour at the start of the 2021 season,” he said.
Wimbledon has been canceled. Organizers of the French Open and the U.S. Open are still hoping to stage their major tournaments this year.
Even as youngsters in many sports are happy to be getting some time to prepare themselves for the upcoming challenge, legends such as Roger Federer and Serena Williams felt devastated by the news of Wimbledon being cancelled.
The cancellation of Wimbledon could mean multiple champions have played at the All England Club for the final time. Federer and Serena will be nearly 40 by the time of the 2021 championships and Venus will be 41.
Djokovic may skip US Open
Meanwhile, top-ranked Novak Djokovic is thinking of skipping the U.S. Open — if it is played — and instead returning to competition on clay ahead of the rescheduled French Open.
Speaking to Serbia’s state broadcaster RTS on Tuesday (June 9), Djokovic said the restrictions that would be in place for the Grand Slam tournament in New York because of the coronavirus pandemic would be extreme and not sustainable.
“Most of the players I have talked to were quite negative on whether they would go there. For me currently, as things stand, most probably the season will continue on clay at the beginning of September,” Djokovic said.
Like many sports, tennis went on hiatus in March because of the COVID-19 outbreak. All sanctioned tournaments have been scrapped until at least late July. That includes the French Open, which was supposed to end last weekend but was postponed until September, and Wimbledon, which was canceled for the first time since 1945.
The U.S. Tennis Association is expected to make a decision as soon as next week about whether to hold the U.S. Open. Main-draw play is scheduled to begin August 31.
If that tournament is played, possible precautions that Djokovic said he wouldn’t appreciate include — a 14-day quarantine required for people arriving from outside of the U.S., restricted access to courts, which he said means players wouldn’t be able to train, a limit of one person per competitor at matches, instead of the larger entourages some players travel with, limited ability to move around New York, including keeping players at hotels near the tournament site in Queens and not letting them go to Manhattan.
“Quite extreme conditions for playing. I don’t think that is sustainable, Djokovic said.
(With inputs from agencies)