Roger Federer plans to make a return to tennis in 2021, but it would possibly not happen at the Australian Open. Federer’s agent, Tony Godsick, confirmed to the Associated Press that his client plans to withdraw from the Aussie Open on Sunday.
Federer is still recovering from two operations on his correct knee and hasn’t competed in a tournament match in nearly a full year. Federer’s final official action came at the 2020 Australian Open, where he missing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.
The start of this year’s Australian Open has been delayed because of COVID-19 and would possibly not kick off until early February. Some believed the additional time would allow Federer to heal and play in the tournament, but Goldsick said skipping the year’s opening major is the “best decision for [Federer] in the end.”
“Roger has determined not to play the 2021 Australian Open. He has made strong progress in the final couple of months with his knee and his fitness. Then again, after consultation with his team, he determined that the most efficient decision for him in the end is to go back to competitive tennis after the Australian Open,” Godsick said in a commentary, via the AP.
Though he would possibly not be competing in Melbourne, Federer must be in line to go back to the tour soon. Goldsick confirmed that he is working on building a 2021 competitive schedule of events starting in late February.
Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, is currently training at his offseason home in Dubai.