Roger Federer to miss Australian Open 2021, reveals Swiss Master's agent

Roger Federer
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Roger Federer

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Roger Federer, who has not played competitive tennis since January, has withdrawn from Australian Open 2021, his agent has revealed.

Roger Federer, who has not played competitive tennis since January, has withdrawn from Australian Open 2021, his agent has revealed.

The start of the 2021 Australian Open has been delayed for three weeks due to the country's strict border rules to curb COVID-19. For the first time in more than 100 years, the season-opening Grand Slam is set to begin in February.

After it was announced that Australia Open will begin on Feb. 8, Federer, who has been training at his off-season base in Dubai, had told organisers that the delayed stat could benefit him. However, his agent Tony Godsick has made it clear that his client is not fully fit as yet.

"Roger has decided not to play the 2021 Australian Open. He has made strong progress in the last couple of months with his knee and his fitness. However, after consultation with his team, he decided that the best decision for him, in the long run, is to return to competitive tennis after the Australian Open," Godsick was quoted by Reuters, as saying in a statement.

Soon after that, Australian Open director Craig Tiley expressed disappointment about not having Federer for next year's event.

"In the end, Roger ran out of time to get himself ready for the rigours of a Grand Slam and he's very disappointed he won't be coming to Melbourne in 2021. We wish him all the best as he prepares for his comeback later in the year and look forward to seeing him in Melbourne in 2022," Tiley said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Since his maiden appearance at Melbourne Park, where he lost in qualifying in 1999, Federer has been a regular participant at the calendar's first Grand Slam. He has qualified for the semi-finals at the Australian Open for 15 times, including in 2020, where he lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic. The Swiss legend has won the Australian Open six times, including two back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2918.

Earlier, Tiley had said that the upcoming edition of Australian Open would be "historic" in so many ways. "This will be an historic Australian Open on so many levels. For the first time in more than 100 years, the Australian Open will start in February and we look forward to offering the players what we believe will be one of their best playing experiences in 2021.

AO 2021 is going to be all about supporting local businesses – our tennis coaches, the farmers, food and wine producers, chefs, artists, and musicians – and celebrating everything that is great about our country, as well as providing opportunities to those who've been so hard hit during the pandemic, particularly in Melbourne and Victoria," added Tiley.

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