Tennis: Roger Federer is missing the Australian Open, but plans to return in 2021

Roger Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam champion, will not play in the Australian Open due to a knee injury.

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Roger Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam champion, will not play in the Australian Open due to a knee injury.

Roger Federer withdrew from the Australian Open.

His agent told the Associated Press that the 20-time Grand Slam champion is continuing to prepare to return to action after two operations on his right knee and an absence from the tour will last more than a year.

Tony Godsick – a longtime Federer representative and CEO of his management company, TEAM8 – said he had been working on the 2021 tennis calendar for Federer, who plans to return to the tour shortly after this year’s first major tennis tournament.

The 39-year-old Federer’s decision not to play at Melbourne Park means his streak of 21 consecutive games, a series that began with his 2000 debut there and includes six tournaments, will end.

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“Roger has decided not to play the Australian Open in 2021,” Godsek said in a statement sent to the Associated Press.

“He has made strong progress in the past two months with his knee and fitness. However, after consulting with his team, he has decided that his best long-term decision is to return to competitive tennis after the Australian Open.

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I’ll start discussions next week for the tournaments that start in late February and then begin setting a schedule for the rest of the year. ”

The start of the main draw for the Australian Open was delayed by three weeks due to Covid-19 and is now set to begin on February 8th.

Roger Federer's return to the Australian Open in 2021 has always been in doubt after a few knee surgeries.

Morgan Hancock / Getty Images

Roger Federer’s return to the Australian Open in 2021 has always been in doubt after a few knee surgeries.

Federer has not played a match in the tournament since late January at the 2020 Australian Open, suffering an apparent injury while losing in straight sets to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.

Soon after, Federer participated in a charity event with Rafael Nadal in front of a record-breaking tennis crowd of more than 50,000 at a football stadium in Cape Town, South Africa.

Just weeks later, Federer announced that he had undergone arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and would be out of action for at least four months. Later, he had a second operation on that knee and ended up missing the rest of the epidemic-changing season.

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