November 17, (THEWILL) – Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer has ruled himself out of the 2022 Australian Open and stated that he would be “extremely surprised” if he is fit enough to even compete at Wimbledon.
The now 40-year-old icon expects his progress to make him ready to resume running in January and then return to court training in March or April, with a goal of playing in the summer at the earliest.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion openly acknowledged for the first time that he would be unable to compete in the opening major competition of the season at Melbourne Park.
“I need to be very patient and give my knee the time to heal. The next few months will be crucial,” Federer told Swiss publication Le Matin. “My ambition is to see what I’m capable of one last time. I also wish I could say goodbye in my own way and on a tennis court. That’s why I’m giving my all in my rehabilitation.
“Then let’s be clear, my life is not going to fall apart if I don’t play a Grand Slam final again. But it would be the ultimate dream to go back. And in fact, I still believe in it. I believe in these kinds of miracles.
“I will be able to resume running in January and resume sessions on the court with complex support in March or April,” he said before adding that he would be “extremely surprised to be able to play Wimbledon” next summer.
Federer’s coach, Ivan Ljubicic, delivered an update earlier this week on the star’s fitness after a third round of knee surgery in 18 months and just playing 13 matches in 2021.
“I think there are very few chances,” Ljubicic admitted to Stats Perform. “He is still recovering and, knowing him, he wants to be sure he can play to win the tournament and be at 100 percent.
“So I think the Australian Open is not a real possibility right now. But he will go step by step because he is 40 years old now and he needs to be patient. He cannot recover as quickly as he used to.
“We have spoken and I can guarantee he wants to return to playing tennis. When he decides to stop he will retire, but I don’t think it’s going to happen all of a sudden.”