August 16, (THEWILL) – The end of Roger Federer’s glittering career is on the horizon now than at any other time before with the announcement that the 40-year-old is set to undergo a third knee surgery. The procedure will rule him out for “many months,” as Federer himself confirmed on Sunday over on Instagram. It immediately rules him out of the US Open, which begins in two weeks.
The Swiss tennis icon said: “I’ve been doing a lot of checks with the doctors on my knee. … I hurt myself further during the grass-court season and Wimbledon and it’s just not the way to go forward,” Federer told his fans. “They told me … to feel better (that) I’ll need surgery. So, I’ve decided to do it.
“I’ll be on crutches for many weeks and also out of the game for many months.”
The 20-time Grand Slam champion turned 40 on Sunday, August 8. He spent most of 2020 sidelined by the recovery from the first surgery on his knee shortly after the Australian Open in February of that year. But he required a follow-up procedure in June 2020, though all of these were within the period of the COVID-19 lockdowns.
But, Federer made it clear that going under the knife again was the correct decision: “I know it’s the right thing to do. I want to be healthy. I want to be running around later … and I want to give myself a glimmer of hope, also, to return to the tour in some shape or form.”
As a realistic-minded person, Federer was clear-headed about the difficulty going through another surgery will mean for someone of his age. It was already telling in matches he played upon returning from the double surgeries.
Most recently, the Swiss professional lost to Wimbledon number 14 seed Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets in the quarter-finals in early July. He was looking for his ninth Wimbledon title and first Grand Slam title since winning the 2018 Australian Open but endured his first quarter-final bagel.
He still harbours good hope of continuing to compete. After his loss at Wimbledon, as THEWILL reported, he had said: “Of course I would like to play it again. But at my age, you’re just never sure what’s around the corner.”
His worrying knee, which he announced had begun disturbing his game movement again in mid-July, prevented him from representing Switzerland at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this month as it interfered with his warm-up grass court competitions.
Although Federer promised to provide updates on his rehabilitation process in the Instagram video, there is a growing sense that is will be anytime now before he will confirm that he is calling time on his active playing days even if he may continue to remain relevant in one other form or the other around the tennis game.