The 20-time Grand Slam winner has self-excluded from the Australian Open, saying he would be “surprised” if it took less than a year to fully recover from his knee surgery this summer
The Swiss had knee surgery after being beaten by Hubert Hurkacz in SW19 in 2021 and losing in straight sets only to be eliminated in the quarter-finals.
Roger Federer has revealed that he may not be fit for next year’s Wimbledon championships, even though the tournament is more than seven months away.
The procedure consisted of repairing a meniscus in his right knee, but the surgeon also took the opportunity to treat some damaged cartilage, making the recovery process more difficult and requiring Federer to hold all of the weight off his right leg for a longer period of time.
As a result, the 20-time Grand Slam champion is four months in his recovery but believes he will be absent from competitive tennis for more than a year.
“The truth is I would be surprised to play Wimbledon” [commences 27 June 2022]So Australia doesn’t even come into play, ”Federer told the Swiss newspaper 24 hours.
“And that’s no surprise. We knew beforehand that surgery of this type would require a long pause. So there is nothing new.
“But I wanted to wait for the first major medical exam to discuss it – and that was very encouraging. So I started a long rehabilitation process that I put all my heart into … you have to be patient to give my knee time to 100 percent recover. “
It was believed that by the age of 39, Federer had targeted 2020 as his retirement year and packed his schedule with all four majors and the Tokyo Olympics, where single gold is the most significant gong missing from his overcrowded trophy cabinet.
However, in February 2020, he was struck by an injury that required surgery, which coincided with the tour’s shutdown due to a pandemic.
While Federer was hoping to return to the field in 2020, a setback in his recovery meant he only played one tournament all year.
The most recent operation sparked widespread concern that Federer’s resignation and the world tour he was planning to announce it had already taken place, but the 40-year-old seems determined to make some sort of comeback, even if it’s several years away.
“Playing again in 2022 or 2023 no longer makes a big difference: 40 or 41 years, it doesn’t matter,” added Federer.
“The question is more: will I manage to get hurt every day? Today my heart answers yes. So I go step by step.
“It’s another challenge because I’ve faced many in my career, sometimes without the public noticing. And even though I know the end is near, I want to try and play a few more big matches. It won’t be easy, but we’ll try. “
Federer also made it clear that while he was committed to tennis, he didn’t want to compromise his ability to play an active role in his family’s life.
“I would like to say that I undertook this operation in order to ski with my children, to play football or tennis with my friends in the coming decades,” said Federer.
“My first motivation was to get fit again for my life as a man. But I wanted to approach this demanding rehabilitation with the body and mentality of a top athlete.
“Could I have given so much of myself to rehabilitation two or three years after my retirement? I do not know.
“I want to see one last time what I am capable of as a professional tennis player. I will fight for it and I am very motivated. I feel the support of my team, my family. We all wish I could say goodbye in my own way and on a tennis court. “
He added: “Let’s be clear, my life won’t collapse if I don’t play another Grand Slam final. But it would be the ultimate dream to return.
“And I still believe in it. I believe in such miracles. I’ve lived through it. Sports history sometimes writes a lot. I’m realistic: it would be a huge miracle. But miracles happen in sport. “
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