Roger Federer has let slip words that are enough to send his legion of fans into shock.
In what has been in the realm of frenzied speculation all this time, the twenty-time Grand Slam champion has opened up on retirement, hinting that he may be close to bringing the curtains down on his career.
Roger Federer says his knee might keep him away from Australian Open
At an awards show in his native Switzerland, Federer said he wasn’t sure if he would be available for the Australian Open next year as he still hasn’t regained full fitness.
He said even a delayed start to the Australian Open, which looks likely, may not leave him with enough time to make a full recovery from a second knee surgery and return to Grand Slam action.
Incidentally, the Australian Open was his last tournament this year before the surgery and an extended rehabilitation put out of play this year.
Federer virtually rules himself out of French Open next year
However, while not sounding very hopeful on his return in time for the year’s first Major and even hinting that he may have played his last game, Federer said he still has his eyes firmly fixed on two other Grand Slams and the Olympics next year.
His remark seemed to suggest that he doesn’t see himself regaining full fitness till after the French Open.
Celebrated sports writer and historian Simon Graf has given a further update on Federer’s availability for the Australian Open.
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Graf tweeted that the Swiss icon is keen on a comeback at the year’s first Major but his knee may not allow him to do so.
Federer doesn’t want to rush his comeback
“At the Sports Awards, @rogerfederer says, ‘I would love to be in Australia. But it will be very tight with my knee’,” reads Graf’s tweet.
Graf quoted Federer as saying that he doesn’t want to rush his comeback and risk a fresh injury. He further quotes the Swiss as saying that a likely three-week delay to the start of the Australian would help in his comeback bid.
In his tweet, the sports writer further quoted Federer as saying “I don’t want to take the next step until I’m ready. These 3 weeks might help me a bit”.
He said should Federer travel to Australia, which looks highly unlikely at this point, he may have to leave his family behind because of the two-week strict quarantine rule.
“He (Federer) also said: If he were to fly to Australia, his family would stay home because of the two weeks quarantine,” Graf tweeted.
Federer’s Australian Open campaign this year ended in a semifinal defeat to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.