Roger Federer will miss the rest of 2020 after undergoing further surgery on his knee following “a setback”, the 20-time Grand Slam champion has announced.
The most successful men’s tennis player in history underwent an operation on his knee in February after his defeat against Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open, with the Swiss planning to sit out the clay court season and target a return at Wimbledon.
But even though Wimbledon was subsequently cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, giving Federer significantly more time to recover, the 38-year-old has said that his rehabilitation has not gone as well as planned.
As a result, he confirmed on Wednesday morning that he has already undergone a second operation on his troublesome right knee and will now take the rest of the year off in an effort to get back to full fitness, meaning that when tennis returns from the Covid-19-enforced hiatus, Federer sadly will not.
In a letter to his fans, Federer said: “I hope you are staying safe and healthy.
“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. Now, much like I did leading up to the 2017 season, I plan to take the necessary time to be 100 per cent ready to play at my highest level.
“I will be missing my fans and the tour dearly but, I will look forward to seeing everyone back on tour at the start of the 2021 season.
“All the best, Roger.”
Federer has not won a Grand Slam since picking up title No 20 at the 2018 Australian Open more than two years ago, though he did reach last year’s Wimbledon final as well as the semi-finals at Roland Garros earlier in the year. He remains the most successful men’s singles player in history, though long-term rival Rafael Nadal is just one title behind Federer with Djokovic a further two Grand Slams off on 17 career wins.