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Roger Federer out for remainder of 2020 after injury setback

Roger Federer returns a shot against Rafael Nadal during the 2017 Australian Open men's final.
(William West / AFP/Getty Images)

Roger Federer will miss whatever remains of the coronavirus-impacted 2020 tennis season because of a setback in his recovery from surgery on his right knee.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion had arthroscopic surgery on his knee in February and said Wednesday in a statement on Twitter that he had a second procedure that will delay his return until 2021.

The 38-year-old Swiss star had initially planned to be sidelined for at least four months, but because the tour was suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he has barely missed any elite tennis.

“A few weeks ago, having experienced a setback during my initial rehabilitation, I had to have an additional quick arthroscopic procedure on my right knee,” Federer posted. “Now, much like I did leading up to the 2017 season, I plan to take the necessary time to be 100% ready to play at my highest level.

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“I will look forward to seeing everyone back on tour at the start of the 2021 season.”

Like other sports, tennis has been thrown into disarray because of the coronavirus crisis, which has claimed more than 400,000 lives worldwide.

Roger Federer insists there are no great secrets to his tennis longevity and his ability to avoid the ruinous injuries that have slowed many of his rivals.

Wimbledon, the oldest Grand Slam tournament, where Federer has won eight singles titles, was canceled for the first time since 1945. The next edition of the grass court tournament will be June 28 to July 11, 2021.

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Organizers of the French Open and the U.S. Open are still hoping to stage their major tournaments this year.

The start of the French Open was postponed from late May to late September. The U.S. Open recently said that it still hopes to hold the tournament as planned in New York. Main-draw play is scheduled to begin Aug. 31.

Federer had also planned to represent Switzerland at the Tokyo Olympics, trying to complete a career Golden Slam by winning a gold medal in men’s singles. He and fellow Swiss player Stan Wawrinka own a gold medal in doubles. The Tokyo Games will now be staged in 2021.

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Shortly before his initial surgery in February, Federer reached the semifinals of the Australian Open, where he lost to defending champion Novak Djokovic. The Serb later said: “Obviously, he was hurting. You could see it in his movement.”

Federer, who turns 39 in August, missed much of the 2016 season because of an injury to his knee.

He returned in 2017 and won the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and then the Australian Open again in 2018.


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