Roger Federer and His Delayed Return

Dash Pandher, Reporter

Tennis player Roger Federer has not missed an Australian Grand Slam since he first appeared 21 years ago, but with his recent condition, he will be sitting this one out. 

The six-time Australian Open winner, and overall 20 time Grand Slam winner has recently undergone two major knee surgeries, which have put him out of commission for the foreseeable future.

Federer had his first arthroscopic knee surgery, a surgery that deals with a torn meniscus, misaligned patella (kneecap) or damaged ligaments, back in July 2016 on his left knee. Federer spent the rest of the season focusing on recovering and building his strength for the 2017 season. He came back from his surgery and won 3 Grand Slam titles.

Since then Federer has reported no major issues with his left knee, but the same could not be said for the right knee. 

In February of 2020, Federer needed another surgery, however this time it was on his right knee. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the tennis season ended in March, allowing him ample time to recover while not missing Grand Slams or other tournaments. Unfortunately, he has experienced a setback with his rehabilitation, and had to have another procedure done on his right knee. With the setback, Federer has stated that he will be opting out of the 2021 Australian Open, something he has never done since his first appearance on the Australian Open courts 21 years prior. 

The 39 year old champion has decided to focus on recovering and ensuring that his physical health is to the best of its ability before competing. While Federer’s team is looking to put together a calendar for the champions season, it seems as if he may sit out for the rest of the season. Should his condition worsen, Federer will not be playing in the 2021 season, and instead focus upon ensuring his knee is fine. If Federer does opt out of this year’s season, he will spend the time he has focusing on preparing himself for the 2022 season.

While Federer is saddened that he won’t be able to compete, he is excited to be able to spend time with his family in Zurich, Switzerland, who he has not been able to spend more than five to six weeks with during his career, but now is spending months with. 

Federer’s knee surgery, and increasing age has fans worried if this could be the end of the world’s fourth ranked champion’s career. They worry that as the player’s age increases, his body will not be able to handle the strain that comes with playing such a physically demanding sport. Federer’s agent has come out and stated that age will not dictate when Federer retires, rather Federer himself will choose when it’s time to retire.